2018-03-07 from cbc.ca

Federal researchers have collaborated to develop a preventative vaccine for a potentially deadly bacteria that causes pneumonia, blood poisoning and meningitis in children and affecting predominantly children in northern and Indigenous communities.

Scientists with the Public Health Agency of Canada first identified Haemophillus influenza Type A (Hia) infections in the mid-2000s in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Montreal hospitals. Hia is not the common flu — which is caused by a virus, not bacteria.

Hia has become more common since then, evolving into an emerging public health concern among children under five and for adults whose immune systems aren't working properly, said Dr. Guillaume Poliquin, the senior medical adviser for the Public Health Agency of Canada at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg.

About 500 people are exposed to Hia every year, and about 10 per cent of those die.

"It can spread anywhere in the body and can cause things from pneumonia to skin, soft tissue and bone infections, but the complication we fear the most is when it gets to the lining of the brain and can cause … meningitis," Poliquin said during a recent tour of the Level 2 lab. 

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