Acute epiglottitis is an exceedingly rare, potentially deadly disease. Since the introduction of the Haemophilusinfluenzae type B (HiB) vaccine in the mid-1980s, its incidence has decreased dramatically. With the decrease in the incidence of epiglottitis attributed to HiB came a relative increase in epiglottits caused by other pathogens. These atypical pathogens often present in an atypical manner, confusing the clinical picture and often delaying diagnosis and treatment. As the immunized portion of the population increases, atypical non-HiB epiglottis will become the rule rather than the exception. Successful management of this disease poses a particularly difficult challenge to physicians who have been trained in the post-HiB era, in which epiglottitis is both rare and deceptive in presentation.
Reed J, Shah RK, Jantausch B, Choi SS. Aryepiglottic Abscess Manifesting as Epiglottitis. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;135(9):953-955. doi:10.1001/archotol.127.12.1495