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Disease information

Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib)

Haemophilus influenzae type b, or Hib, is an infection that causes pneumonia and meningitis, mostly in young children.

It spreads by droplet through coughs, sneezing and in overcrowded living conditions. It is estimated to cause 2 to 3 million cases of disease each year and about 450,000 deaths, the vast majority of them in developing countries.

Several vaccines against Hib are already in widespread use in high-income countries, where they have virtually wiped out the disease. The vaccines, based on conjugates of part of the killed bacterium and a protein carrier, are among the safest vaccines in use. Studies have confirmed the effectiveness of these vaccines in low-income countries, but relatively few of these countries have begun routine use in infants.

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