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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1994;106(7):187-92.

[Haemophilus influenzae meningitis 1983 to 1992--epidemiology and sequelae of the disease].

[Article in German]

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Kinderabteilung, Landeskrankenhauses Leoben.


During the ten-year period 1983-1992 40 children (16 girls and 24 boys) were treated for pyogenic meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). The incidence was 1 case per year out of 5500 children younger than 6 years of age. The youngest child was 5.5 months old, 8 children (20%) were younger than 12 months. The highest incidence was during the second year of life (16 patients). The oldest patient was 11.5 years old. The course of Hib meningitis varied. The disease ran a fulminant course in 10 children. In 9 patients the symptoms evolved more gradually over a period of more than 48 hours, whereby 4 of these patients were only slightly ill on admission. Treatment until 1987 consisted of a combination of ampicillin and chloramphenicol, thereafter cetriaxon and ampicillin were used. Two patients died. One child was left with devastating handicaps and 5 children suffer from minor, but persisting sequelae (seizure disorder, delay in psychomotor development, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning problems, speech delay). Transient disorders were found in 8 patients (EEG abnormalities, delay in psychomotor development, transient hearing problems). Severe hearing loss was seen in only one patient. 24 children (60% of all cases) recovered without any sequelae. Our results, in accordance with the literature, show that in spite of prompt availability of medical assistance, potent antibodies and a high standard of hospital care, the mortality and morbidity following Hib meningitis are still unacceptably high. Hence, we emphasize the need to eliminate Hib infection by immunization programmes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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