January 12, 2022
MASSENA, NY – Haemophilus influenzae may sound like a type of flu, but it is not.
St. Lawrence Health wants parents and guardians to know this disease is a name for any infection caused by bacteria called H. influenzae. The type people are most familiar with is H. influenzae type b or Hib.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated people spread H. influenzae, including Hib, to others through respiratory droplets. This happens when someone who has the bacteria in their nose or throat coughs or sneezes.
People who are not sick but have the bacteria in their noses and throats can still spread the bacteria.
H. influenzae symptoms will vary depending on which part of the body is infected. Pneumonia may present with fever and chills, cough, sweating, and aches; a bloodstream infection may show signs of diarrhea, belly pain, confusion, and anxiety; and meningitis typically includes the sudden onset of headache, stiff neck, nausea, and light sensitivity of the eyes.
The CDC recommends Hib vaccination for all children younger than five years of age, and involves multiple (three or four) shots.