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How is Hib spread?

Page last updated 18 January 2022

Hib is spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing or other secretions from an infected persons nose or throat. Once infected, a person can develop symptoms of Hib quite rapidly (around 2-4 days).

It is important to remember that you don’t need to show any symptoms to be able to spread Hib on to others. The bacteria can live harmlessly in your throat, only causing severe illness in vulnerable groups, like young children under the age of 5 years old.

You can remain infectious with Hib for as long as the bacterium is present in your nose or throat. People with Hib require 48-72 hours of antibiotic treatment before they’re considered no longer infectious.

Sources & Citations

3. Queensland Health. Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib). Available at: (accessed 24 November 2021).

4. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine (Shot) for Hib. Available at: (accessed 24 November 2021).

MAT-AU-2102459  Date of preparation January 2022