Can stop breathing. The epiglottis is a tissue structure in the back of the throat that overlies the vocal cords. If infected (usually h. Flu bacteria or virus), it can become inflamed, swell up, and even stop breathing. Small children are at worst risk because their airways are small. In rare cases, it can cause death. If anyone feels that his/her throat is swelling, this is a reason to seek emergency treatment.
Some risk factors. Certain increased risk factors. More males than females. Having weakened immune system, more susceptible to bacterial infections causing epiglottitis. Lacking adequate vaccination. Delayed or skipped immunizations make child vulnerable to Hemophilus influenzae, most common bacterium causing epiglottitis and increases the risk.