The Danger of Meningitis: Hemophilus Influenzae Type B Vaccination
Meningitis is a very scary word for any parent to hear. However, there are vaccinations for certain strains of meningitis. One strain that can easily be prevented is Hemophilus Influenzae type B (Hib).
What is Hib?
Hib is a severe and potentially deadly illness that affects the coverings of the brain and spinal column; it can also lead to developing: pneumonia, infection of the blood (bacteremia), bones (osteomyelitis), joints (septic artritis), reoccuring ear infections and the heart condition known as pericarditis. Of all HIB cases in children 3-6% are fatal, brain damage occurs at a rate of 10-30%, and 1 in 5 children has permanent hearing loss.
How is Hib Spread?
Hib is contracted mainly thru contact with the nasal mucus and/or saliva of an infected person.
What are the symptoms of Hib?
Symptoms may include fever, lethargy, vomiting, and stiff neck. Other symptoms depend upon the part of the body affected (cough, chest pain, head ache, joints pain, etc)
Does past infection with HIB disease make a person immune?
Children who have had Hib disease when younger then 24 months of age are at risk of contracting Hib again.
How is HIB prevented?
Hib is prevented through vaccinations that take place over a period of time. Infants and toddlers should receive four total doses of the Hib vaccine. A dose should be given at each of the following ages:
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 12–15 months
Most infants who receive three doses of this vaccine have long-term protection against the illnesses caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria.
What is side effects of HIB vaccine?
One of the biggest concerns for parents is whether or not vaccinations are safe for their children. The Hib vaccination has proven safety record, and at worse the child may experience some soreness and/or a mild fever after the injection. Serious problems associated with receiving the immunization are rare and are mainly due to allergic reactions. There is no evidence linking the Hib vaccine to autism.
We all love are children and depriving them from the protection of vaccinations places them at risks that are completely uneccessary. If you have any questions or concerns about vaccinations, or the general health of your child, do not hesitate to contact any of the pediatricians at AFM.
Departmenet of health
Center for disease control and prevention
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