H Influenza: Silent Killer of unborn Babies

I recently lost my baby, Lily, and I want to share my story to perhaps help other parents avoid this grief and tragedy. During my pregnancy, I thought I just had a typical, lingering cold – but it was Haemophilus Influenza. At 28 weeks, Lily was born suddenly, and died shortly after birth from severe kidney failure, liver failure, and respiratory failure. And if I had kept her inside any longer, I would have been dead from H Influenza too.

H-influenza is not the Swine Flu. Haemophilus Influenza is a rare disease transmitted through the vagina by the carrier mother. It’s rare because the common DTaP vaccine (for Pertussis, Diptheria, Tetanus) helps people avoid getting H Influenza. But I didn’t get immunized for this as an infant, because I'd been adopted from South America where there was little to no prenatal / infant care. I never received the vaccine: a fact that was overlooked until Lily’s birth and subsequent death. If I had received the vaccine, Lily never would have contracted the virus and died.

I am a very healthy, average young woman. I have two other children who are growing and thriving.

Since most young adults in developed countries have had the vaccine and are therefore immune, it's not something regularly screened for during pregnancy.

Please ask your doctor about H-influenza and its prevention. Find out if you had the DTaP vaccine as a baby or child. To avoid losing your baby like I did, all it takes is the vaccine, so it’s worth finding out about your immunization history.

For Danielle’s full and moving story, read next page of this article.

From the Committee at PILARI – Please Note:

Danielle referred to the DtaP vaccine. Since 1990, a newer vaccine -- the Hib conjugate vaccine – has also been routinely used in many developed countries, resulting in a further decrease in the incidence of Haemophilus Influenza. So if you were born after 1989, you might find this on your immunization record instead --
Content source:
The Cochrane Collaboration

"The Hib vaccine can prevent most serious cases of haemophilus influenzae"
Dr. Alan Green, Pediatrician 

Haemophilus influenza can affect many organ systems, causing invasive diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, septic arthritis, etc. But since 1990 routine use of the Hib conjugate vaccine has reduce the incidence of H influenza in infants and young children, by 99% to fewer than 1 case per 100,000 children under 5 years of age. In developing countries, where routine vaccination with Hib vaccine is not widely available due to its cost, Haemophilus influenza remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in infants and children -- 
Content source:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: Division of Bacterial Diseases

Danielle's full story: next page

Comments (3)

Said this on 19-05-10 At 01:09 am

I'm submtting a response to this post as me and my baby boy fell victim to this deadly bacteria, and I would want to prevent other women and babies from suffering if possible.

In my case, H influenza is thought to have been caused by an aggressive digital examination of the cervix. Read more here.





Said this on 28-05-11 At 01:39 am

My daughter was vaccinated from 1987 through 1988 with the DTaP vaccine series, then again at 6 years of age, plus she was given the HIB in June 1989. She is 23 years old now and just lost her baby girl at 32 1/2 weeks pregnant because of this H-influenza. This was her first baby. So my question is why these vaccines didn't do their job? She also contracted whooping cough when she was 11 years old. She was vaccinated up to date for that as well. She was very ill for three months with whooping cough. This is all very grieving.

Said this on 10-07-11 At 08:28 am

"Mine was contained in the amniotic fluid..." TL

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