haemophilus influenzaeHaemophilus influenzae bacteria cultured on a blood agar plate. Obtained from the CDC Public Health Image Library. Image credit: CDC/Dr. W.A. Clark (PHIL #1617), 1977.

OCEANPORT, NJ – The Monmouth County Health Department is investigating one confirmed case of Haemophilus Influenzae in Monmouth County.

In an abundance of caution, Oceanport officials have voluntarily closed Borough Hall today. The Health Department provided recommendations on surface cleaning and sanitization to Borough officials.

“It is important to note that Haemophilus Influenzae is not airborne, it is preventable and can be treated with antibiotics,” said County Public Health Coordinator Christopher Merkel.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Haemophilus Influenzae is a bacteria that causes infections with symptoms like cold, cough and fever but sometimes causes more serious infections like pneumonia and meningitis. Monmouth County residents should not confuse Haemophilus Influenzae with the Seasonal Flu, which is now occurring in New Jersey.

“Regardless of the type of illness, the recommendations remain the same for all residents,” said Freeholder Patrick Impreveduto, liaison to the Monmouth County Health Department. “You need to be sure that you wash your hands thoroughly to protect yourself from germs and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.  If soap and water are not available and you are using a hand sanitizer be sure it is at least 60 percent alcohol. You should also avoid close contact with people who are sick. And if you are sick, be sure to stay home.”

Haemophilus influenzae disease refers to any illness caused by H. influenzae bacteria. Some of these illnesses, like ear infections, are mild while others, like bloodstream infections, are very serious. In spite of the name, H. influenzae do not cause influenza (the flu). While H. influenzae can infect people of all ages, these bacteria usually cause illness in babies and young children.

For additional questions, please contact the Monmouth County Department of Health at 732-431-7456, ext. 8580. More information about Haemophilus Influenzae is available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/haemophilus_faq.pdf.


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...