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What are the symptoms of Hib disease?

Page last updated 20 March 2020

Some people infected with Hib do not show any symptoms. For those who do, the type of symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected:

  • Brain (meningitis) – inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness. Convulsions or seizures may also occur.
  • Lungs (pneumonia) – infection of the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, lack of energy, loss of appetite, headache, chest pain and cough.
  • Windpipes (epiglottitis) – inflammation of the windpipe. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and swallowing, pale colour and fever.
  • Bones and joints (osteomyelitis) – infection of the bones and joints. Symptoms include swelling, inflammation and pain over the affected bone.
  • Skin (cellulitis) – infection of the skin or soft tissue. Symptoms in the affected area include redness, heat, swelling and tenderness. There may also be a discharge of fluid or pus. 

Sources & Citations

  1. Australian Government, Department of Health. Australian Immunisation Handbook. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Available at: (accessed 6 March 2020).
  2. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. HIB disease and the vaccine (shot) to prevent it. Available at: (accessed 6 March 2020).
  3. Better Health Channel. Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). Available at: (accessed 9 March 2020).

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