Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) VIS (Updated 4/2/2015)

What You Need to Know

Why get vaccinated?

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease is a serious disease caused by bacteria. It usually affects children under 5 years old. It can also affect adults with certain medical conditions.

Your child 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.

Before Hib vaccine, Hib disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under 5 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can lead to brain damage and deafness. Hib disease can also cause:

  • pneumonia
  • severe swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe
  • infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart
  • death
  • Before Hib vaccine, about 20,000 children in the United States under 5 years old got Hib disease each year, and about 3% – 6% of them died.

Hib vaccine can prevent Hib disease. Since use of Hib vaccine began, the number of cases of invasive Hib disease has decreased by more than 99%. Many more children would get Hib disease if we stopped vaccinating.

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Source:  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hib.html