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Haemophilus influenzae infection – causes, side effects and treatments at

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by

Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) refers to a group of bacteria that can cause different types of infections. These usually affect babies and children, causing ear, eye, or sinus infections. In some cases, they can also cause pneumonia.

A well-known strain of H. influenzae is called Hib – short for Haemophilus influenzae type b. Hib infections are severe: It can result in meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain), or even epiglottitis (a life-threatening infection the throat area).

H. influenzae is transmitted through the mucus or saliva. This happens when a person carrying the bacteria sneezes or coughs. While the condition is a cause of concern for small children, it rarely affects healthy people starting from adolescence.

Despite its name, H. influenzae does not give people influenza.

Known risk factors and symptoms of Haemophilus influenzae infection

People at increased risk of having an H. influenzae infection are the following.

  • Children younger than four years
  • Exposure to someone with Hib disease
  • People who have sickle cell disease
  • Persons with asplenia (no normal speel function)
  • Those with an HIV infection
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems
  • Persons who just had a hematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • Those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for malignant neoplasms

In addition, the signs and symptoms involve the following.

  • Hib meningitis — This is the most severe manifestation of a Hib infection, with the first sign being infections in the upper respiratory tract. Hib-induced meningitis is virtually indistinguishable from other cases of bacterial meningitis.
  • Cellulitis — The bacterial rash is usually located in the eyes and cheeks, usually with a fever.
  • Epiglottitis — Landmark symptoms include fever, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, drooling, and difficulty breathing.
  • Hib pneumonia — The condition is identical with other bacterial types of pneumonia, but it also comes with fever, cough, and pus-filled sputum.
  • Hib pericarditis — This includes fever, respiratory distress, and abnormally rapid heartbeat.
  • Septic arthritis — Signs include joint pain, swelling, and decreased mobility.
  • Occult bacteremia — A person with this condition experiences fever, anorexia, and lethargy

If a person has other medical conditions, other symptoms will include pulmonary disease and a state of immunodeficiency (for those with HIV infection), among others.

Newborn children who are infected may get nonspecific manifestations; this could include bacteremia, sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, respiratory distress, scalp abscess, conjunctivitis, and vesicular eruptions.

Body systems affected by Haemophilus influenzae infection

Depending on the site of infection, H. influenzae could affect the upper respiratory tract, as well as the joints, bones, lungs, the skin of the face and neck, eyes, urinary tract, and other organs.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve Haemophilus influenzae infection

H. influenzae and other bacterial infections are usually treated with conventional drugs. However, there are natural remedies to address the situation in our body. Here are some recommended food items to help treat bacterial infections.

  • Probiotics increase the number of good bacteria present in the body. This allows the body to fend off the bacterial infection.
  • Aloe vera, an anti-inflammatory agent, can be used to treat bacterial infections.
  • Turmeric, long known to treat and reduce certain cancerous tumors, can be taken to prevent infection.
  • Apple cider vinegar can even out the body’s pH levels and prevent sustained infection.
  • Garlic, a readily available home remedy, can help keep bacterial infections at bay.

Treatment and management options for Haemophilus influenzae infection

People with an H. influenzae infection are given antibiotics to treat the infection. Depending on the severity, they may even need to be admitted to the hospital for observation and treatment.

Where to learn more


H. influenzae can cause different types of infections that usually affect babies and children, causing ear, eye, or sinus infections. In some cases, they can also cause pneumonia. A well-known strain of H. influenzae, called Hib, has severe complications.

The condition is transmitted through the mucus or saliva. While the disease is a cause of concern for small children, it rarely affects healthy people starting from adolescence.

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