Risks at a glance:

  • Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes covering the brain)
  • Epiglottitis (inflammation of the flap and the top of the windpipe)
  • Pneumonia
  • Septic arthritis – (joint infection)
  • Cellulitis – (infection of the tissue under the skin, usually on the face)
  • Death

About the disease:
Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) is a bacterium that causes a life-threatening infection, mostly in children. It can lead to serious illness, and children with HIB can have severe headaches, stiff neck, seizures, severe drowsiness, difficulty waking up, loss of consciousness, difficulty with breathing.

How is it spread:
Hib is spread mainly through coughing or sneezing.

Treatment may include admission to hospital, a course of antibiotics and children with epiglottitis may need to be cared for in an intensive care unit and have a breathing tube inserted to help them breathe.

Impact of HIB:
Hib caused about 8·13 million serious illnesses worldwide in 2000, and around 371,000 deaths.

Hib can be prevented by vaccination which is 95-100% effective in protecting against Hib.

Real life Hib stories:

Parents talk about almost losing their son to Hib and their regrets about not vaccinating him, which would have prevented it, here.

Marijean shares her story of losing her son to Hib meningitis, before the vaccine was available here.