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Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

What is it?

A bacteria that is found in the nose and throat of children and adults that could lead to brain damage or death.


Hib disease causes different symptoms depending on which part of the body it affects.
The most common type of Hib disease is meningitis. This is an infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. It causes:

  • High fever
  • Confusion
  • Headache or stiff neck
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Poor eating and drinking, low alertness, or vomiting (in babies)

Hib disease can also cause:

  • Throat swelling that makes it hard to breathe
  • Joint infection
  • Skin infection
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Bone infection

How does it spread?

Through the sneezing or coughing of an infected person.


Children younger than 5 years old need multiple doses of a Hib vaccine. CDC recommends doses at the following ages:
2 months
4 months
6 months (if needed; depends on brand)
12 through 15 months

Haemophilus influenzae disease is any type of infection caused by Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. Hib is most common in babies and children younger than 5 years old. It can cause lifelong disability and be deadly. CDC recommends Hib vaccination for all children younger than 5 years old in the United States.