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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health

Haemophilus influenza b (Hib ) Disease FAQs

What is Hib?

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease is a bacterial infection. Before the use of Hib vaccines, Hib infections most commonly presented as meningitis, epiglottitis and bacteremia. Upper and lower respiratory tract infections including pneumonia were also common.

What are the symptoms?

Onset is usually sudden. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, neck stiffness, vomiting and decreased level of consciousness which may progress to coma.

How is it spread?

It is spread by droplet infection and discharges from the nose and throat during the infectious period.

What is the incubation period?

Unknown but probably short, 2-4 days.

When is it contagious?

Ill people remain contagious as long as the bacteria are present. This may be for a prolonged period even without nasal discharge. You are no longer infectious after 48 hours of effective antibiotic therapy.

How can you be protected?

Routine childhood immunization has resulted in the reduction in the incidence of illness caused by Hib. Preventive therapy is recommended for household contacts of the disease when there are one or more children in the home under one year of age, or when there is a child in the home under 3 years of age who has not been immunized against Hib.


Heymann, D. L. (2008). Control of Communicable Disease Manual (19thEd). Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.

Haemophilus influenza b Fact Sheet printable pdf

Need More Information About Haemophilus influenza b (Hib ) Disease FAQs?

Talk to your health care provider or call our Communicable Disease Program at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349.

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Appointments for individuals 5+ can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  

Due to limited supply, HPEPH will initially be prioritizing available bivalent vaccine for residents and workers at identified highest-risk facilities.  Some HPEPH vaccination clinics MAY offer the bivalent vaccine, as availability allows. Vaccine clinics in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties will continue to offer monovalent vaccines (the same mRNA vaccines given as the primary series) for all eligible individuals until a steady supply of the bivalent vaccine is available.

Visit the HPEPH vaccine booking web page for details.


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The Ministry of Health has launched a new toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.