Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

What is Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)?

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a severe bacterial infection which occurs mostly in babies and children under the age of 5 years. Despite its name, it is not the same as influenza.

How is Hib spread?

Like the flu, Hib is spread through coughing, sneezing or close face-to-face contact.

What are the symptoms of Hib?

The infection usually starts with fever, vomiting, lack of energy, confusion, headache and stiff neck.

What are the risks of Hib?

Hib can cause life threatening diseases such as a serious blood infection called septicemia and bacterial meningitis (an infection of the covering of the brain). Of every 20 children who get bacterial meningitis, one will die. Many of the children who live are left with brain damage.

How can I prevent getting Hib?  

The best way to not get Hib is to get immunized. The Hib vaccine is safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get the disease. When you get immunized you help to protect others as well.

Who should get the Hib vaccine?

Children between 2 and 59 months are offered the Hib vaccine as part of the routine infant vaccine series. People over the age of 5 with certain medical conditions are also eligible for a free Hib vaccine. Talk to a public health nurse to find out.

Get immunized against Hib by making an appointment with your doctor, pharmacist (for those 5 years and older) or Public Health.

To book an immunization appointment with Public Health:

Residents of Fraser East (Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope), call 604-702-4906

Residents in any other area of Fraser Health, call 604-476-7087 

Resources

For more information about Hib and the Hib vaccine, go to:

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