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What is epiglottitis?
Epiglottitis is a life-threatening bacterial infection that occurs when the epiglottis—a small piece of cartilage that covers the windpipe—swells, obstructing the flow of air into your child's lungs.
What causes epiglottitis?
Epiglottitis is a bacterial infection, which is spread through the upper respiratory tract. The bacteria is usually Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). No one really knows why some children develop the disease, while others don't.
Is epiglottitis common?
The Hib vaccine, recommended for infants at 2, 4, 6 and 15 to 18 months of age protects against this bacteria, making the condition very rare for infants.
What are the symptoms ofepiglottitis?
While symptoms may vary from child to child, the most common include:
Can you prevent epiglottitis?
Epiglottitis caused by the bacteria Hib can be prevented with vaccines that start at the age of 2 months. Epiglottitis caused by other organisms can't be prevented at this time, but are much less common. Most people who get the Hib vaccine don't have any problems with it. Some minor problems may include:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”