Croup

Croup

Croup is breathing difficulty accompanied by a “barking” cough. Croup, which is swelling around the vocal cords, is common in infants and children and can have a variety of causes.

Croup is breathing difficulty accompanied by a “barking” cough. Croup, which is swelling around the vocal cords, is common in infants and children and can have a variety of causes.

Causes
• Viral croup is the most common. Other possible causes include bacteria, allergies, and inhaled irritants. Acid reflux from the stomach can trigger croup.
• Croup is usually (75% of the time) caused by parainfluenza viruses, but RSV, measles, adenovirus, and influenza can all cause croup.
• Before the era of immunizations and antibiotics, croup was a dreaded and deadly disease, usually caused by the diphtheria bacteria. Today, most cases of croup are mild. Nevertheless, it can still be dangerous.
• Croup tends to appear in children between 3 months and 5 years old, but it can happen at any age. Some children are prone to croup and may get it several times.
• In the northern hemisphere, it is most common between October and March, but can occur at any time of the year.
• In severe cases of croup, there may also be a bacterial superinfection of the upper airway. This condition is called bacterial tracheitis and requires hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics. If the epiglottis becomes infected, the entire windpipe can swell shut, a potentially fatal condition called epiglottitis.

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