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Delaware Health Alert Network #398

January 18, 2019 4:36 pm

Health Advisory

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is issuing this health advisory regarding clinical reminders and reporting requirements related to Haemophilus influenzae infection.


A child who died in Sussex County was confirmed to have a diagnosis of Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) serotype A.


DPH provided families whose children may have come in contact with the infected child with information on typical signs of disease. DPH suggests that parents consult a health care professional if they notice their children have any symptoms such as pneumonia, pink eye, ear infection, or sinus infection. In rare cases, H. influenzae infections can cause meningitis and bloodstream infections.

General Information

The contagious potential of invasive H. influenzae non-type B is considered limited. The incubation period is unknown. H. influenzae non-type B infection may be transmitted through contact with secretions or droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person. If treated with antibiotics, a person may be able to spread the bacterium from 24 to 48 hours after starting medication.

H. influenzae infections became nationally reportable in 1991. Serotype-specific reporting continues to be incomplete. In 2015, the incidence of H. influenzae non-type B invasive disease was 1.3 per 100,000 in children younger than 5 years old.

Treatment and Chemoprophylaxis

Antibiotics are used to treat people with serious H. influenzae non-type B infections. No treatment is needed for carriers or those without symptoms.

There are few guidelines for control measures around cases of H. influenzae non-type B. Chemoprophylaxis is not recommended for contacts of persons with invasive disease caused by non-type B H. influenzae because cases of secondary transmission of disease have not been documented.


H. influenzae is a mandatory reportable condition in Delaware. Cases can be reported to the DPH Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology by calling 302-744-4990 or 1-888-295-5156 (24/7).

Additional information

American Academy of Pediatrics, Red Book, 2018-2021 Report of the Committee on Infectious Disease, 31st Edition. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Haemophilus influenzae Disease (Including Hib) - Types of Haemophilus influenzae Infections -


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