Haemophilus Influenzae

Potential Complications

Meningitis and other serious infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b disease can lead to brain damage or death.


Treatment with antibiotics should be started immediately to stop the infection from causing brain damage or death.

Haemophilus Influenzae Statistics

Haemophilus influenzae type b disease is now rare because of highly effective vaccines given to infants (beginning at the age of two months) and the high vaccination coverage of infants and children under the age of two years.
The disease occurs mainly in under-vaccinated children and in infants too young to have completed the first series of shots.

Can It Be Prevented?

Preventing Infection in All Children
Haemophilus influenzae type b disease is preventable by immunizing all children under five years of age with an approved vaccine. Several vaccines are available. The general recommendation is to immunize children with a first dose at two months of age and to follow with additional doses based on the schedule for the vaccine being used. If a child under age five has missed getting immunized, a healthcare provider can determine the required vaccine dosage and schedule.
Preventing Infection in Close Contacts of Infected Children
Infants and young children who are exposed to a child with Haemophilus influenzae type b disease can be given an antibiotic called rifampin to destroy the bacteria they might be carrying and to prevent getting or spreading Haemophilus influenzae type b disease. A healthcare provider or the local health department can provide advice.
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