Haemophilus influenzae disease


What causes Haemophilus influenzae disease? How is it spread?

Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) disease is caused by a bacterial infection. There are several types (strains) of these bacteria. Some strains cause mild disease in the nose or throat, while others cause more serious disease.

There are many strains of Hi disease that can cause severe illness. However, before immunization, the most common strain to cause illness was type b. If the Hi type b bacterium invades the bloodstream or spinal cord, it can lead to health problems, such as meningitis.

Hi bacteria are spread from person to person. The bacteria enter the body through the nose or mouth. They can be passed through:

  • coughs and sneezes from an infected person;
  • touching objects that were recently exposed to an infected person’s mucus or saliva (such as shared utensils, cups, tissues and toys) then rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth.
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