Epiglottitis is tenderness of the epiglottis—the flap at the base of the tongue that keeps food from going into the trachea (windpipe) Symptoms are commonly rapid in onset and include trouble swallowing which can result in drooling, deviations to the voice, fever, and an increased breathing rate.As the epiglottis is in the upper airway, swelling can interfere with breathing. People may thin forward in an effort to open the airway.As the condition worsens stridor and bluish skin could occur.