Epiglottitis is a very serious condition that affects children’s ability to breathe. In fact, epiglottitis is a medical emergency.
A comprehensive case definition was used to study all cases of epiglottitis that occurred in children under 15 years of age in Western Australia during a 5 year period. There was microbiological evidence of Haemophilus influenzae type b infection in 71% of 103 cases of epiglottitis.
The child is also treated with antibiotics and most recover fully within a couple of days.
Immunisation against Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) will prevent epiglottitis caused by Hib provided the child has had all the immunisations.