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Signs and Symptoms

Haemophilus influenzae, including H. influenzae type b or Hib, can cause many different kinds of infections. Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected.

Pneumonia

Symptoms of pneumonia (lung infection) usually include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain or aches
  • Excessive tiredness

Bacteremia

Bacteremia is an infection of the bloodstream. Symptoms of bacteremia include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Pain in the belly
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

Bacteremia from H. influenzae can occur with or without pneumonia.

Meningitis

Meningitis is infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of meningitis typically include sudden onset of:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Photophobia (eyes being more sensitive to light)
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

Babies with meningitis may be irritable, vomit, feed poorly, or appear to be slow or inactive. In young babies, doctors may also test the child’s reflexes, which can be abnormal with meningitis.

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