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Haemophilus influenzae disease, including Hib disease, causes different symptoms depending on which part of the body is affected. The most common severe types of Haemophilus influenzae disease are:

  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Bacteremia (bloodstream infection)
  • Meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord)


  • Pneumonia
  • Bacteremia
  • Meningitis

Pneumonia occurs when the lungs become infected, causing inflammation (swelling). Symptoms of pneumonia usually include:

  • Fever (but older people may have lower than normal body temperature)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain that comes and goes with breathing
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Excessive tiredness

Bacteremia is an infection of the blood. It can cause symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Pain in the belly
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. In children, teens, and adults, symptoms typically include sudden onset of:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

Infants may appear to be lethargic (limp, loss of alertness) or irritable, or may vomit or feed poorly. In young children, doctors may also test the child’s reflexes, which can be abnormal with meningitis.

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