What is Haemophilus influenzae?
The bacterium Haemophilus influenzae, which belongs to the genus Haemophilien, is a bacteria transmitted by droplet infection, which colonizes and proliferates primarily on the mucous membranes of humans, preferably in the throat, nose and throat area.
The Haemophilus influenzae bacterium causes numerous inflammatory diseases, such as colds, bronchial infections and pneumonia. Especially in children under 5 years, the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium triggers severe meningitis, which is usually fatal or cause serious brain damage. To treat an infection with the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium, the doctor prescribes an antibiotic.
Meaning & function
The Haemophilus influenzae bacterium is transmissible by a droplet infection. In the case of a droplet infection, the pathogens enter the upper respiratory tract of the human body, for example through ankle or ants. In the upper respiratory tract, the bacterium usually reproduces very quickly, because the well-moistured and warm mucous membranes are the optimal living environment of the bacterium.
A person with a good immune system usually fights the bacterium itself or the patient receives a mild antibiotic. Often a bacterial infection is preceded by infection by viruses. The immune system is weakened due to the virus infection and can not defend itself sufficiently against the bacterial infection with Haemophilus influenzae. In such a case, it usually comes first to a bronchitis, come in the further course to pneumonia.
The body is then no longer able to repel the bacterium without medical help. The intake of an antibiotic is indicated. In children under the age of 5, the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium is considered to be the causative agent of meningitis (meningitis). In most cases, meningitis, if left untreated, is fatal within a few days. Even if a meningitis is survived, the brain usually has irreparable damage, the person is physically or mentally severely damaged.
Worldwide, about 400, 000 children die of meningitis caused by the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium. It is therefore recommended to have children vaccinated against the bacterium. After a vaccination, the child is immune to the bacterium and can no longer develop a meningitis caused by the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium. The vaccine is already taken in the baby's age as part of a multiple vaccination (HIB vaccine).
Diseases & complaints
Any infection with the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium is a potential hazard to humans, especially for children under 5, infection can be fatal. Most are a viral disease and a bacterial infection in close temporal relationship.
The patient first notices a harmless cold, which does not get better over time, but rather gets worse. Such a "retarded cold" is usually a bacterial infection that quickly leads to a serious illness in the already weakened by the virus body. The patient will usually develop bronchitis. If left untreated, pneumonia can subsequently be the result. Pneumonia will most likely not heal without taking a special antibiotic; the walk to the doctor or to a hospital is now urgently advised.
Haemophilus influenzae infection is particularly devastating for children under the age of 5 years. In such young children, the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium triggers most of the meningitis (meningitis). The child suffers within a short time from massive headache, very high fever, vomiting, dizziness and sometimes with deficits.
Only an immediate intravenous administration of a high-dose antibiotic can then save the child from death. If a described illness develops in a child, an ambulance must be called immediately, so that the child receives immediate medical help. Children who survive a meningitis usually suffer lifelong brain damage with permanent physical and mental disabilities.
Doctors recommend a vaccination against the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium. The vaccination takes place in infants as part of a U-investigation as a multiple vaccine and is harmless. Some children have mild fever and redness around the puncture site for two to three days. However, most children do not feel the vaccine and receive lifelong protection against the Haemophilus influenzae bacterium.