An acute infection of the epiglottis, is usually caused by Haemophilus influenzae. The epiglottis becomes very swollen and may obstruct the airway. This is a rare but very serious condition which may rapidly cause death unless correctly diagnosed and rapidly treated. Children with acute epiglottitis also have a Haemophilus influenzae septicaemia. Acute epiglottitis due to Haemophilus influenzae can be prevented by Hib immunisation of all children. Do not confuse Haemophilus influenzae (a bacteria) with the influenza virus.
Acute epiglottitis is an exremely serious condition which can be prevented with Hib immunisation.