Can Hib Cause Injury and Death?
Yes, Hib can cause injury, but rarely causes death. According to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, the mortality rate for meningitis caused by Hib is around 5 percent. Of survivors, 6 percent of the 5 percent will have permanent sensorineural hearing loss, and about one-fourth will have a significant handicap of some sort. Up to half may have some neurologic problems such as partial hearing loss and delay in language development.1 Acute (life-threatening) complications of Hib can include cerebral edema, increased cranial pressure, ventriculitis (usually in association with obstruction to cerebrospinal fluid flow), cerebritis, hydrocephalus, brain abscess, cerebral infraction, and subdural effusion or empyema.2
IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib) and the Hib vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.
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1 Kasper DL, Fauci AS, Braunwald E, et al. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine 16th Edition. 2005. pp 864-866.
2 Kaplan SL. Neurologic Complications of Bacterial Meningitis in Children. Wolters Kluwer. Online. (Accessed June 2012)