Many people have haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria in their nose and throat without getting sick.
Illness only develops when the bacteria spread and create an infection in your body. This can happen when you are sick with another virus or if you have an ongoing disease such as chronic bronchitis.
The bacteria do not survive for long outside the body. So, it is difficult to spread the disease between people unless you have long and close contact.
The chance of getting or carrying the bacteria is higher if you:
- live with preschool and school-aged siblings
- live in a crowded household.
Covering your nose or mouth when you sneeze or cough, and washing and drying your hands, can help reduce the chance of spreading bacteria. Avoid sharing items which may have saliva on them like drink bottles or lip balm.