Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease is a serious disease caused by bacteria. It is a type of bacteria, which can cause many different kinds of infections. These infections range from mild ear infections to severe diseases, like bloodstream infections. It usually affects children under 5 years old. It can also affect adults with certain medical conditions and may start off as Bronchitis.
You can get Hib disease by being around other children or adults who may have the bacteria and not know it. The germs spread from person to person. If the germs stay in the child’s nose and throat, the child probably will not get sick. But sometimes the germs spread into the lungs or the bloodstream, and then Hib can cause serious problems. This is called invasive Hib disease.
Side Effects from Hib
- Brain damage
- Hearing loss
- Severe swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe
- Infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart
Australia introduced a vaccine for Hib on to its National Immunisation Plan in 1993 and babies from the age of 2 months are now vaccinated against the disease.