What is the Haemophilus influenza B (Hib) disease?
Haemophilus influenzae b is a bacteria which is a common cause for meningitis, pneumonia and other severe infections in children especially in those less than 5 years of age. 95% of Hib infections occur before 5 years of age. In newborn baby, it can also cause septicemia, conjunctivitis, scalp abscess or cellulitis and septic arthritis (infection in the joints). It is also known as Hib infection of H flu.
How does Hib spread?
There is no specific known cause as to how it spreads. But it may spread by air borne droplets which are transmitted by sneezing or coughing by an infected person. However with vaccination with Hib vaccine, the incidence of H influenza b infection has dropped but still occurs in unvaccinated children.
How to diagnose H influenza b infection?
Diagnosis of Hib is done by immunological tests and cultures from blood and other infected body fluids and organs of the body.
How is H influenza b infection treated?
Hib infection is treated with antibiotics. Duration of treatment will depend on the severity of infection and the organ of the body that is involved.
Is there any vaccine to prevent Hemophilus influenza B infection?
Hib vaccine is available. Hib vaccine is given intramuscularly. For a child less than 6 months, 3 primary doses are necessary. The first dose can be given at 6 weeks along with OPV/DPT and subsequent 2 doses at 4 weeks interval along with subsequent OPV/DPT. One booster will be necessary between 15-18 months of age.
For children between 6 months to 12 months: 2 primary doses at 4-8 weeks interval are given followed by a booster at 15-18 months of age. For children between 12-15 months only single primary dose is given followed by a booster at 15-18 months of age. If a child present beyond 15 months till 5 years of age, only one dose is given straight as the booster dose. It is usually not given after 5 years of age.
Last updated date 22-11-2006