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Contact: Becky Latanich, 928-707-2482
Recently, two children who have attended Kaibab Learning Center (KLC) located at Grand Canyon National Park, developed illnesses possibly caused by the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). Haemophilus influenzae type B is a bacteria that is found only rarely in the nose and throat of children and adults. People can have the bacteria in their bodies but not become ill. For more information about Hib go to CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/hi-disease/index.html
There are other types of Haemophilus influenzae bacteria that occasionally cause people to get ill but do not spread from one person to another and therefore do not warrant further action. At this time, the Coconino County Public Health Services District, National Park Service officials, and health care providers in this community are working together to determine the specific type of Haemophilus influenzae bacteria that has caused these children to become ill.
Information about the specific type of Haemophilus influenzae bacteria will come from the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory early next week. The community will be notified of the results. If Haemophilus influenzae type B is confirmed, public health officials will contact those people who are at risk of spreading this disease to vulnerable children and recommend a course of antibiotics. These antibiotics are typically given to prevent the spread of the bacteria; these antibiotics are not used to treat this disease.
The National Park Service Public Health Consultant at Grand Canyon has inspected the Kaibab Learning Center and confirmed that all appropriate cleaning procedures have been followed.
It is important that all children be vaccinated against Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). This vaccine will provide protection against Hib disease. Children should get doses of the Hib vaccine at 2 and 4 months of age, at 6 months of age (for some brands of vaccine), and receive a last dose between 12 to 15 months of age. If your child has not been vaccinated or has not received all of the doses a child their age needs, please contact your health care provider or your local health department to get this vaccine.
As always, parents of children who develop symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, unusual sleepiness, weakness, or difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.
For more information concerning the Kaibab Learning Center, contact Bridget Rabon at 928-310-6170 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about this press release contact Public Affairs Specialist Becky Latanich at 928-707-2482.
*This only applies to Grand Canyon South Rim Community members.*
Last updated: June 21, 2019