Epiglottitis occurs when the flap of the skin at the back of the throat (the epiglottis) becomes inflamed and covers the windpipe used to swallow. This most commonly occurs in young children and can lead to a fever, a severe sore throat, difficulty swallowing, muffled voice, and an inability to cough. Antibiotics, humidified oxygen and steroids (to reduce swelling) are common treatments. If swollen, the epiglottis might lead to a medical emergency as it obstructs the airway.
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