Information for Patients
Haemophilus is the name of a group of bacteria. There are several types of Haemophilus. They can cause different types of illnesses involving breathing, bones and joints, and the nervous system.
One common type, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), causes serious disease. It usually strikes children under 5 years old. Your child can get Hib disease by being around other children or adults who may have the bacteria and not know it. The germs spread from person to person. If the germs stay in the child's nose and throat, the child probably will not get sick. But sometimes the germs spread into the lungs or the bloodstream, and then Hib can cause serious problems such as meningitis and pneumonia.
Treatment is with antibiotics. There is a vaccine to prevent Hib disease. All children younger than 5 years of age should be vaccinated with the Hib vaccine.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) Vaccine: What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Hib Disease: Information for Parents (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Hib Disease: Information for Parents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Hib Disease: Information for Parents (American Academy of Family Physicians)
Also called: Spinal meningitis
Meningitis is inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called the meninges. There are several types of meningitis. The most common is viral meningitis. You get it when a virus enters the body through the nose or mouth and travels to the brain. Bacterial meningitis is rare, but can be deadly. It usually starts with bacteria that cause a cold-like infection. It can cause stroke, hearing loss, and brain damage. It can also harm other organs. Pneumococcal infections and meningococcal infections are the most common causes of bacterial meningitis.
Anyone can get meningitis, but it is more common in people with weak immune systems. Meningitis can get serious very quickly. You should get medical care right away if you have
- A sudden high fever
- A severe headache
- A stiff neck
- Nausea or vomiting
Early treatment can help prevent serious problems, including death. Tests to diagnose meningitis include blood tests, imaging tests, and a spinal tap to test cerebrospinal fluid. Antibiotics can treat bacterial meningitis. Antiviral medicines may help some types of viral meningitis. Other medicines can help treat symptoms.
There are vaccines to prevent some of the bacterial infections that cause meningitis.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) collection (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Cerebrospinal fluid culture (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Meningitis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Meningitis - cryptococcal (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Meningitis - gram-negative (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Meningitis - H. influenzae (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Meningococcal ACWY Vaccines - MenACWY and MPSV4: What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13): What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine: What You Need to Know (Immunization Action Coalition)
- Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine: What You Need to Know (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)