Vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae type b, or Hib, once the major cause of bacterial meningitis in children, has dramatically reduced the incidence of Hib disease in young children over the last 20 years, according to a survey published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online. However, other strains of the bacteria continue to cause substantial disease among the nation’s youngest and oldest age groups.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is usually known to cause spinal meningitis in infants, while the remaining two types of bacteria are liable for causing the disease in adults.
Bacteria can directly infect the meninges and the cerebrospinal fluid, or cause an upper respiratory infection initially and then spread to the brain through the bloodstream. Viral meningitis is a less serious condition that usually resolves on its own. The viruses associated with gastrointestinal diseases are primarily responsible for causing the infection. It can likewise be caused by fungi apart from bacteria and viruses. Fungal meningitis is a rare disease that mostly affects individuals with an weakened immune system. So, people with AIDS are more sensitive to this condition.
More Random Haemophilus Influenzae Thoughts
The number of adults 65 and older who become ill due to H. influenzae is also high compared to the remaining part of the population, according to the study authors. Among those in this group who become sick, nearly 25% of the cases are fatal. Risk factors for this age group are more difficult to interpret, the authors note, as clinical outcomes can be attributed to underlying medical conditions.