The Most Common Types of Hib:

  • Bacteremia (blood infection)
  • Meningitis
  • Epiglottitis
  • Cellulitis
  • Infectious Arthritis


What is Hib?

Hib is a bacterium that can cause serious infections, disabilities, and sometimes death. It is most common in young children and infants.

How is Hib spread?

Hib is spread person-to-person through direct contact or though respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes. The disease is spread through people who have the bacteria in their nose or throat but are not ill. Sometimes, a person can become ill through close or lengthy contact with a patient who has Hib.

What illnesses does Hib cause?

The most common diseases caused by Hib are:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bacteremia
  • Meningitis

How is Hib diagnosed and treated?

Hib is usually diagnosed through a blood or spinal fluid test.

Hib is treated with antibiotics, usually for about 10 days. Â  Hospitalization is sometimes necessary for more invasive treatments. About 3-6% of children with meningitis will die from Hib, even with antibiotic treatment.

Who is at risk for Hib?

  • Infants
  • Children under the age of 5
  • Adults 65+
  • American Indians
  • Alaska Natives

People with:

  • Sickle cell disease
  • Asplenia (no spleen)
  • HIV
  • Antibody syndromes
  • Chemotherapy/radiation treatments
  • Stem cell transplant patients


What are risks associated with Hib?

Hib usually doesn’t cause disease and simply lives in a person’s nose or throat. However, severe infections can result from invasive diseases caused by Hib. These include:

  • Meningitis
  • Bacteremia

Non-life threatening infections from Hib include:

  • Bronchitis
  • Ear infections
  • Respiratory infections

How can I prevent Hib?

The best way to protect your child from Hib is to get the Hib vaccine. The Hib vaccine is recommended for children under 5 years old and given after 2 months of age. At-risk adults or children may require additional doses of the vaccine. Children and infants who have been infected in the past can become infected again, so it is important they receive the vaccine as soon as possible. If you are in close contact with person(s) that have Hib, you should receive the vaccine immediately.

For more information on Hib, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hi-disease/index.html.