Epiglottitis is a rare swelling of the epiglottis. The epiglottis is the small flap in the back of the throat. With swallowing, it folds over the windpipe. It helps keep foods and fluids from going into the lungs. Swelling can quickly seal off the airway. This can cause life-threatening breathing problems. It needs to be treated right away.
Epiglottitis spreads easily. It is passed like the
common cold, through droplets from sneezing and coughing. It is more common in infants under 12 months and adults over 85 years old. However, anyone can develop epiglottitis.
Other things that raise the risk are:
Not having the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine
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