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8.25.23 Public Education Topic: Haemophilus Influenzae

Per Haemophilus influenzae: Types of Infection | CDC Español (Spanish)

Types of Haemophilus influenzae Infections

Haemophilus influenzae, a type of bacteria, can cause many different kinds of infections. These infections range from mild, like ear infections, to serious, like bloodstream infections.

Doctors consider some H. influenzae infections “invasive.” Invasive disease happens when the bacteria invade parts of the body that are normally free from germs. For example, H. influenzae can invade the fluid around the spine and brain, causing meningitis, or bloodstream, causing bacteremia. Invasive disease is usually serious, requiring treatment in a hospital, and can sometimes result in death.

The most common types of invasive disease caused by H. influenzae are:

  • Pneumonia* (lung infection)

  • Bloodstream infection

  • Meningitis (swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)

  • Epiglotittis (swelling in the throat)

  • Cellulitis (skin infection)

  • Infectious arthritis (inflammation of the joint)

Diagnosis Español (Spanish)

Doctors usually diagnose Haemophilus influenzae infection with one or more laboratory tests. The most common testing methods use a sample of blood or spinal fluid.

H. influenzae can also be a common cause of ear infections in children and bronchitis in adults. Learn more about these illnesses.

Prevention Español (Spanish)

Staying up to date with recommended vaccines and maintaining healthy habits, like washing hands often and not having close contact with people who are sick, help prevent disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae.

To learn more visit: About Haemophilus influenzae | CDC

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