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- Infants younger than two months who are too young to receive vaccination
- Children, aged 3-7, living in countries that do not offer vaccines
- Rarely, adults in their 40s, especially men
- People of African American and Hispanic descent
- Living in close quarters
- Attending day care, being in school, or working in an office
- Weather: more common in winter
- Fever over 103°F
- Sore throat and severe throat pain
- Difficulty swallowing with drooling
- Muffled voice
- Rapid breathing
- Increasingly difficult breathing
- Leaning forward and arching the neck backward to breathe
- Squeaky or raspy sounds while inhaling, caused by airway blockage
Symptoms associated with low oxygen levels:
- Bluish tint to skin or lips
- Blood culture and count
- Throat culture
- Neck x-ray
- Endotracheal intubation—A breathing tube is inserted through the nose or mouth and fed into the airway. This can only be done if the airway is not swollen shut. It should be done by an experienced physician.
- Tracheotomy —A breathing tube is inserted directly into the airway. This is done if the airway is swollen shut or if the airway is too swollen to do an endotracheal intubation.
- Household members and others who have spent time in the previous five out of seven days with an affected individual
- All daycare staff who have spent time in the previous five out of seven days with an affected individual
American College of Emergency Physicians http://www.acep.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Acute epiglottitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 21, 2013. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Haemophilus influenzae disease (including Hib). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hi-disease/index.html. Updated September 25, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Sack JL, Brock CD. Identifying acute epiglottitis in adults. Postgraduate Medicine. 2002;112(1).
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/24/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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