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How is Hib spread?

Page last updated 20 March 2020

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

  1. Australian Government, Department of Health. Australian Immunisation Handbook. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Available at: (accessed 6 March 2020).
  2. Queensland Health. Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib). Available at: (accessed 6 March 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0140(2)a - Date of preparation March 2020