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H. influenzae, represents a group of bacteria that may cause different types of infections in infants and children.

What is Haemophilus influenzae?

Haemophilus influenzae or H. influenzae, represents a group of bacteria that may cause different types of infections in infants and children. H. influenzae most commonly causes ear, eye, or sinus infections, and pneumonia.

A more serious strain of the bacteria called H. influenzae type b has been nearly abolished in the United States due to the development of an effective vaccine, which has been available since 1988.

The more serious strain was responsible for causing many cases of meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain) and a life-threatening infection called epiglottitis (infection of the area of the throat that covers and protects the voice box and trachea during swallowing).

Both meningitis and epiglottitis can be caused by other bacteria, however. In rare cases, children may still develop H. influenzae type b infections. This can occur in a child who has not completed his or her series of immunizations or in older children who did not receive the vaccine as an infant.

Types of Haemophilus Influenzae Infections

Doctors consider some H. influenzae infections “invasive.” Invasive disease happens when the bacteria invade parts of the body that are normally free from germs. For example, H. influenzae can invade the fluid around the spine and brain, causing meningitis, or bloodstream, causing bacteremia. Invasive disease is usually serious, requiring treatment in a hospital, and can sometimes result in death.

The most common types of invasive disease caused by H. influenzae are:

Pneumonia (lung infection)

Bloodstream infection

Meningitis (swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)

Epiglotittis (swelling in the throat)

Cellulitis (skin infection)

Infectious arthritis (inflammation of the joint)

influenzaecan also be a common cause of ear infections in children and bronchitis in adults.

Pathophysiology

The nomenclature (Haemophilus is Greek for “blood loving”) acknowledges the fact that H influenzae requires 2 erythrocyte factors for growth: X (hemin) and V (nicotinamide-adenine-dinucleotide). These factors are released following lysis of red blood cells, thereby allowing growth of this fastidious organism on chocolate agar. H influenzae consists of 8 biotypes; biotype 3 (Haemophilus aegyptius) is associated with Brazilian purpuric fever, and biotype 4 is a neonatal, maternal, and genital pathogen. Humans are the only natural hosts. NTHi strains are a common resident of the nasopharyngeal mucosa and, in some instances, of the conjunctivae and genital tract.

Transmission is by direct contact or by inhalation of respiratory tract droplets. Nasopharyngeal colonization of encapsulated H influenzae is uncommon, occurring in 2-5% of children in the prevaccine era and even less after widespread vaccination. The incubation period is not known. A larger bacterial load or the presence of a concomitant viral infection can potentiate the infection.

The colonizing bacteria invade the mucosa and enter the bloodstream. The presence of antibodies, complements, and phagocytes determines the clearance of the bacteremia. The antiphagocytic nature of the Hib capsule and the absence of the anticapsular antibody lead to increasing bacterial proliferation. When the bacterial concentration exceeds a critical level, it can disseminate to various sites, including meninges, subcutaneous tissue, joints, pleura, pericardia, and lungs.

What causes Haemophilus influenzae?

The H. influenzae bacteria live in the upper respiratory tract and are usually transmitted by close contact with an infected individual. Droplets in the air from a sneeze, cough, or close conversation can be inhaled and may also cause infection.

What are the symptoms of Haemophilus influenzae?

Haemophilus influenzae symptoms in babies and children depend on the specific disease that it causes.

Ear infection (otitis media)

Symptoms may include:

Pain

Loss of appetite

Irritability

Poor sleep

Fever

Drainage

Difficulty hearing

Bronchitis

Symptoms may include:

A frequent, mucus-producing cough

Lack of energy

Wheezing

Fever

Shortness of breath

Cellulitis

Symptoms may include:

Pain

Tenderness

Swelling

Warmth

Discoloration

Blisters

Fever and chills

Fatigue

Epiglottitis

Symptoms may include:

Severe sore throat

Fever

Raspy breathing called stridor

Difficulty swallowing

Drooling

Difficulty breathing

Pneumonia

Symptoms may include:

Fever and chills

Cough

Shortness of breath

Difficulty breathing

Sweating

Chest pain

Headache

Muscle pain

Fatigue.

Meningitis

Symptoms may include:

Fever

Headache

Stiff neck

Fatigue

Decreased appetite

Nausea and vomiting

Irritability

Confusion

Seizures

Bloodstream infection (septicemia)

Symptoms may include:

Fever and chills

Abdominal pain

Nausea and vomiting

Diarrhea

Anxiety or confusion

Fatigue

Shortness of breath

Difficulty breathing

Septic arthritis

Symptoms may include:

Fever

Joint pain

Tenderness

Swelling

Warmth

Decreased range of motion

Complications of Haemophilus influenzae infection

If your child is not immunized and contracts Hib, they could develop:

Meningitis – an infection of the membrane covering the brain (signs include fever, stiff neck, drowsiness, irritability and refusal of food)

Epiglottitis – inflammation of the flap at the top of the windpipe (epiglottis), which can block a child’s breathing (signs include severe breathing difficulties, fever, restlessness and irritability)

Pneumonia – lung inflammation (symptoms include fever, cough, chest pains and breathing problems, such as shortness of breath)

Septic arthritis – joint infection (symptoms include joint pain, swelling and reduced mobility of the joint)

Cellulitis – infection of the tissue under the skin, usually on the face.

These complications can develop quickly and, if left untreated, your child could die in a short period of time.

Diagnosis of Haemophilus influenzae Infections

Culture of a sample of blood or other body fluids

Sometimes examination of a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (obtained by spinal tap)

Chest or neck x-ray

To diagnose the infection, doctors take a sample of blood, pus, or other body fluids and send it to a laboratory to grow (culture) the bacteria. If people have symptoms of meningitis, doctors do a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) to obtain a sample of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid). Identifying the bacteria in a sample confirms the diagnosis.

After the bacteria are identified, they may be tested to see which antibiotics are effective (a process called susceptibility testing).

Treatment of Haemophilus influenzae

People diagnosed with H. influenzae disease take antibiotics to treat the infection. Depending on how serious the infection is, people with H. influenzae disease may need care in a hospital. Other treatments may include:

Breathing support

Medication to treat low blood pressure

Wound care for parts of the body with damaged skin

When H. influenzae cause milder infections, like bronchitis or ear infections, doctors may give antibiotics to prevent complications.

Prevention of Haemophilus Influenzae Infections

Hib vaccination

Hib conjugate vaccines are available for children ≥ 2 months of age and have reduced invasive infections (eg, meningitis, epiglottitis, bacteremia) by 99%. A primary series is given at age 2, 4, and 6 months or at age 2 and 4 months, depending on the vaccine product. A booster at age 12 to 15 months is indicated.

Contacts within the household may have asymptomatic H. influenzae carriage. Unimmunized or incompletely immunized household contacts <4 years of age are at risk of illness and should receive a dose of vaccine. In addition, all household members (except pregnant women) should receive prophylaxis with oral rifampin 600 mg (20 mg/kg for children ≥ 1 month;10 mg/kg for children <1 month) once a day for 4 days.

Nursery or day care contacts should receive prophylaxis if ≥ 2 cases of invasive disease occurred in 60 days. The benefit of prophylaxis if only one case occurred has not been established.

Nigeria on flame: Terrorist open fire on travelers along East- West highway.

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Private sectors to spend USD$ 8 billion to fight hunger in US.

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (Sep 28) announced US$8 billion in new private sector spending to fight hunger, including hundreds of millions of dollars for meals, after lawmakers failed to further extend pandemic-era nutrition supports like universal school meals and increased aid to food banks.

The pledges were announced as part of a White House summit on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the first since 1969, with participation from Biden, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Health Secretary Xavier Becerra, as well as several lawmakers and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

If a parent can’t feed their child, there’s nothing else that matters to that parent,” Biden said. “This is something we should be rallying the whole country to work on together.”

Biden aims to end US hunger and reduce diet-related diseases in a majority of Americans by 2030 and has turned to the private sector to underwrite some of the spending after Congress failed to further extend school lunch aid.

Pandemic assistance helped quell hunger rates for US families, but hunger again climbed following the expiration of child tax credit payments in January, while soaring food prices stretch family budgets.

Congress extended only through September 2022 aid that helped schools feed millions of US children over the last two years.

Contributions announced on Wednesday included a pledge by nonprofit FoodCorps to invest US$250 million for free, healthy school meals and to expand nutrition education in schools.

The Food Industry Association also promised to get members to donate 2 billion meals to food banks and other organizations next year while making it easier to use food stamp benefits online.

Wholesale food distributor Sysco will donate 200 million meals to national hunger-related charities and food banks, worth about US$400 million, over the next five years.

Senior administration officials briefing reporters declined to offer a timeline for the new aid but said details would be forthcoming.

The private sector commitments follow revelations of hundreds of millions of stolen federal dollars that were supposed to be spent on food aid during the coronavirus pandemic.

The officials said the administration would work closely with the donors to ensure compliance.

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Russians fleeing to Mongolia after Vladimir Putin mobilization order.

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Norway and Poland move to cut gas dependency on Russia.

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Ukrainians forced to vote on gunpoint in Putin’s Referenda.

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US call on it citizens to move out of Russia ASAP.

The United States Embassy in Russia has issued a new security alert for its citizens, who have been asked to leave the country “immediately” despite the few existing commercial flights due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, the diplomatic legation has warned that “commercial flights are currently extremely limited, so sometimes there are none available. However, it has confirmed that land routes are still open.

If you want to leave Russia, you must make the necessary preparations as soon as possible.

The United States Embassy is very limited in offering assistance to Americans and the conditions could be increasingly limited, he insisted.

Likewise, he has indicated that the Russian government could begin to deny dual nationality to Americans and access to consular assistance to prevent their departure from the country after announcing the partial mobilization.

US citizens should not travel to Russia and those who reside in the country or are on Russian territory must leave it immediately, the Embassy stressed in a statement confirming that the authorities will offer all relevant information on the possibility to access neighboring countries from Russia.

In this sense, they have reminded their citizens that “freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are not guaranteed in Russia for which they have urged “avoid protests and take photographs of the security forces within the framework of said events.

Russian authorities have already arrested Russian citizens who have participated in demonstrations, she said.

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No fewer than 22 persons killed in two Helicopter clash in Uganda.

Two Ugandan military helicopters have crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo with 22 persons aboard killed, said Congo Army spokesman on Wednesday.

Uganda had sent troops to its central African neighbour in December to help fight a violent rebel group known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) have not yet told us the circumstances of the crash, the spokesman said without providing further detail.

UPDF spokesman, Felix Kulayigye, confirmed one helicopter crash and said there were fatalities, but I don’t have any extra details at the moment.

The ADF is among several militias wrangling over land and resources in Congo’s mineral-rich east over the past decade, a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions.

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Labour Party vow to fight for Peter Obi.

The Labour Party, LP, has vowed that it will not abandon its presidential candidate, Peter Obi and other candidates of the party to their whims and caprices if they were elected into office in 2023.

The party said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja announcing its readiness to commence its campaign for the 2023 general elections.

National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure vowed that members of the party will join in the revolt against Peter Obi and the other candidates if they decided not to abide by the wishes of the electorate when elected.

If they form a government and decide not to do what the people want, we will abandon them and join the people to fight them. We are going to have a paradigm shift in the manner and ways politics is played in Nigeria. We are going to provide leadership by example, Abure said.

He added that Labour Party would hold the government accountable to the Nigerian people and not satisfied with just helping to bring it into office.

The Labour Party will continue to maintain that when we form government in 2023, the party will hold our presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi and other candidates contesting on the platform of the party accountable if they renege on the social contract entered with the people.

Labour Party will not just bring a government in place with the help of the people, but would go as far as holding the government accountable to the Nigerian people who voted them into office.

“This 2023 general elections and the campaign is all about the people, they are the ones that will drive the process. They are the ones already driving it as you can see across the length and breathe of Nigeria. We are only giving direction to it.

We are going to enthrone leadership that will work for the people and that leadership is going to be held accountable for the people. We are going to make sure Peter Obi and all other candidates that win on Labour Party platform are held accountable to the people.

If they form a government and decide not to do what the people want, we will abandon them and join the people to fight them. We are going to have a paradigm shift in the manner and ways politics is played in Nigeria. We are going to provide leadership by example.

Labour Party will not just bring a government in place for Peter Obi, we are going to hold him accountable because the movement transcends Peter Obi. It is even transcending the Labour Party, it is about the people of Nigeria.

It’s about the future of the country, the growth and development of the country, the downtrodden Nigerians that have been suffering over the years and about the blood of Nigerians who have been slaughtered for years by the maladministration of the PDP and the current APC government.

He added that Labour Party is ready to start its campaign in line with the Independent National Electoral Commission’s guidelines.

Abure, however, expressed disenchantment with attacks on members of Labour Party in some parts of the country.

The national chairman also commended the INEC on its position on incumbent political office holders who use the power of incumbency to deny opposition parties access to public facilities for campaigns, an action which the Commission said was illegal and would attract sanctions as spelt out in the Electoral Act 2022.

The position of INEC is germane with the recent attacks on the supporters of Labour Party candidates across the nation particularly in Ebonyi, Enugu, Kastina and Kaduna amongst others.

It is a fact that the popularity and influence of Labour Party recently has been astonishing wherein it has witnessed exponential and geometric growth across the states.

The fear factor being expressed by the other political parties which has pushed them into resorting to obstructing and in some cases manhandling of otherwise, Labour party supporters who have been embarking on peaceful rallies, is a threat to our democracy.

He urged all the ruling parties in their states and at the national level not to militarise the campaign process but give a level playing ground for all parties involved.

We seize this opportunity to call on the incumbent political office holders to ensure that the political terrain is demilitarised and a level playing ground provided for all political activities. This will ensure that the choice of the people on who represents them at whatever level is respected.

As a political party, we promised Nigerians that the party would run an issue based campaign.

We have also put our house in order, and we will be coming up with a formidable team that will run the campaign and that will deliver power to the real owners, the people.

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