Navigate Up
Sign In

Meningitis haemophilus

Haemophilus meningitis is caused by a type of bacteria called Haemophilus Influenzae serotype b which can cause meningitis. 

Haemophilus Influenzae serotype b is a bacterium which is spread by:
  • Droplet infection, discharges from nose and throat during the infective period.
  • its portal of entry is generally the nasopharynx.
  • can cause: cellulitis, empyema, epiglottitis, osteomyelitis, pericarditis, pneumonia, septic arthritis.


Incubation period
unknown, 2 - 4 days probably


Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever Vomiting
  • Headache Lethargy
  • Bulging fontanelle in infants Progressive stupor or coma is common
  • Stiff neck and back in older children
  • Haemophilus Influwenzae can also cause pneumonia. Infact, in third world countries it is the second leading cause of bacterial pneumonia deaths in children.


Diagnosis

  • Blood culture and sensitivity
  • Lumbar puncture for Cerbrospinal fluid culture and sensitivity


Treatment

  • Ceftriaxone or cefatoxime i.v.
  • Corticosteroids may help prevent brain damage.


Control and Prevention

Routine childhood vaccination. Children over 2 months of age. (Child Immunisation Schedule)
Rifampicin should be given to:

  1. All household members irrespective of age where there is an index case of haemophilus disease, and a child less than 3 years, except pregnant women, breastfeeding women, any person with severe impairment of hepatic function and children under the age of 3 months.
  2. All room contacts where two or more cases of Hib disease have occurred in a play group, nursery or cresche with 120 days (exceptions as above).
  3. Index cases of Hib disease prior to discharge from hospital, except children under the age of 3 months.
  • Monitor for cases occurring in susceptible population settings, ex: day care centres, cresche.
  • Educate parents of a possibility for a second case in siblings of less than 4 years of especially if symptoms like headache, fever and stiff neck are present.

Back to A to Z of Infectious Diseases​​