Dr. Janette: Croup, a Loud and Dangerous Virus

By KOLR10 News

Published 01/17 2014 09:51PM

Updated 01/18 2014 09:58AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- It's a terrifying cough and if your child has never had "the croup"... Just the sound of it can be disturbing. Dr. Janette told us more about this contagious and potentially dangerous virus.
“Croup” … It sounds scary and it can be if not treated properly.  The croup, usually caused by a viral infection can result in respiratory failure.
Croup patients seen by Dr. Janette are usually little boys under and even in the best situations, an emergency room visit is stressful for a child and definitely for parents.  
There are some things you can do to avoid an emergency room visit and make sure this virus doesn't progress to a critical situation. Parents are urged to try and recognize when croup is serious and when it is not.
Symptoms can include: A "barking" sounding cough, fever, hoarseness, and stridor, that raspy gasping sound when your child breathes in are all tell tale signs of Croup
The illness can be expected it to last about 5-6 days with symptoms peaking on the 2nd or 3rd day.  Croup is almost always worse at night and is very contagious so try to protect other family members by limiting their exposure and washing hands a lot until fever subsides. Also, keep your child home from school to protect other kids.
Since this illness can be life threatening make sure you're aware of any worsening symptoms.  You can sit your child up to help him breathe easier with moist humidified air and encourage lots of fluids. Tylenol or Ibuprofen can be used for fever and be sure to avoid smoke exposure.
Your child should be fully recovered in about a week
A Croup vaccine is currently in development and it is hoped that someday this loud and potentially dangerous childhood illness will be a thing of the past.

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