A 26-year-old woman had acute thyroiditis. Forty-eight hours later, pericardial tamponade and empyema developed requiring surgical intervention. Haemophilus influenzae type B was recovered from blood and pleural and pericardial fluid. Treatment with chloramphenicol, and later, ampicillin sodium resulted in recovery. Challenge with H influenzae antigen six months later was followed by a brisk rise in bactericidal antibody, suggesting the patient was nonimmune. Because of the apparently increasing number of such nonimmune adults, H influenzae must be considered as a cause of similar life-threatening infections in this age group.
(JAMA 230:1426-1427, 1974)