Learn About H Influenzae Meningitis

What is the definition of H Influenzae Meningitis?

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. This covering is called the meninges.

Bacteria are one type of germ that can cause meningitis. Haemophilus influenzae type b is one kind of bacteria that causes meningitis.

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What are the alternative names for H Influenzae Meningitis?

H. influenzae meningitis; H. flu meningitis; Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis

What are the causes of H Influenzae Meningitis?

H influenzae meningitis is caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria. This illness is not the same as the flu (influenza), which is caused by a virus.

Before the Hib vaccine, H influenzae was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under age 5. Since the vaccine became available in the United States, this type of meningitis occurs much less often in children.

H influenzae meningitis may occur after an upper respiratory infection. The infection usually spreads from the lungs and airways to the blood, then to the brain area.

Risk factors include:

  • Attending day care
  • Cancer
  • Ear infection (otitis media) with H influenzae infection
  • Family member with an H influenzae infection
  • Native American race
  • Pregnancy
  • Older age
  • Sinus infection (sinusitis)
  • Sore throat (pharyngitis)
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Weakened immune system
What are the symptoms of H Influenzae Meningitis?

Symptoms usually come on quickly, and may include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Mental status changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck (meningismus)

Other symptoms that can occur include:

  • Agitation
  • Bulging fontanelles in infants
  • Decreased consciousness
  • Poor feeding and irritability in children
  • Rapid breathing
  • Unusual posture, with the head and neck arched backwards (opisthotonos)
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What are the current treatments for H Influenzae Meningitis?

Antibiotics will be given as soon as possible. Ceftriaxone is one of the most commonly used antibiotics. Ampicillin may sometimes be used.

Corticosteroids may be used to fight inflammation, especially in children.

Unvaccinated people who are in close contact with someone who has H influenzae meningitis should be given antibiotics to prevent infection. Such people include:

  • Household members
  • Roommates in dormitories
  • Those who come into close contact with an infected person
Who are the top H Influenzae Meningitis Local Doctors?
Highly rated in

University Of Helsinki And Helsinki University Hospital

Faculty Of Medicine 
Helsinki, FI 

Heikki Peltola is in Helsinki, Finland. Peltola is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of H Influenzae Meningitis. They are also highly rated in 11 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Bacterial Meningitis, H Influenzae Meningitis, Meningitis, and Osteomyelitis in Children.

Highly rated in

University College London

London, ENG, GB 

Brenda Adams-Kwambana is in London, United Kingdom. Adams-Kwambana is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of H Influenzae Meningitis. She is also highly rated in 6 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are H Influenzae Meningitis, Pneumococcal Meningitis, Staphylococcal Meningitis, and Bacterial Meningitis.

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Highly rated in

University Of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, NH, NL 1100D

Matthijs Brouwer is in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Brouwer is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of H Influenzae Meningitis. He is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Bacterial Meningitis, Meningitis, Brain Abscess, and Pneumococcal Meningitis.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for H Influenzae Meningitis?

Meningitis is a dangerous infection and it can be deadly. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance for recovery. Young children and adults over age 50 have the highest risk for death.

What are the possible complications of H Influenzae Meningitis?

Long-term complications may include:

  • Brain damage
  • Buildup of fluid between the skull and brain (subdural effusion)
  • Buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling (hydrocephalus)
  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures
When should I contact a medical professional for H Influenzae Meningitis?

Call 911 or the local emergency number or go to an emergency room if you suspect meningitis in a young child who has the following symptoms:

  • Feeding problems
  • High-pitched cry
  • Irritability
  • Persistent, unexplained fever

Meningitis can quickly become a life-threatening illness.

How do I prevent H Influenzae Meningitis?

Infants and young children can be protected with the Hib vaccine.

Close contacts in the same household, school, or day care center should be watched for early signs of the disease as soon as the first person is diagnosed. All unvaccinated family members and close contacts of this person should begin antibiotic treatment as soon as possible to prevent spread of the infection. Ask your provider about antibiotics during the first visit.

Always use good hygiene habits, such as washing hands before and after changing a diaper, and after using the bathroom.

Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system
CSF cell count
Haemophilus influenzae organism
What are the latest H Influenzae Meningitis Clinical Trials?
Immunogenicity and Safety Study of an Investigational Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine When Administered Concomitantly With Routine Pediatric Vaccines in Healthy Infants and Toddlers in Europe
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What are the Latest Advances for H Influenzae Meningitis?
Outcome of childhood bacterial meningitis on three continents.
Multicenter evaluation of the FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis assay in a routine setting.
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A Rapid Detection of Haemophilus influenzae Using Multiple Cross Displacement Amplification Linked With Nanoparticle-Based Lateral Flow Biosensor.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : October 25, 2020
Published By : Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Bacterial meningitis. www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html. Updated August 6, 2019. Accessed December 1, 2020.

Nath A. Meningitis: bacterial, viral, and other. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 384.

Hasbun R, Van de Beek D, Brouwer MC, Tunkel AR. Acute meningitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 87.