Omicron COVID Causing Severe Croup in Young Children

FRIDAY, March 18, 2022 (HealthDay News).

A new study shows that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 can cause croup in young children. Including severe cases requiring hospitalization and intensive care. “The relatively high hospitalization rate and a large number of doses of medication required by our patients with COVID-19. Croup suggest that COVID-19 may cause more severe croup compared to other viruses,” said study co-author Dr. Ryan Brewster. Who is a a combined residency program in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center?

“Further research is needed to determine the best treatment options for these children,

“Brewster said in a Boston Children’s Hospital press release. In the document, physicians described the cases of 75 children who presented to the Boston Children’s Hospital emergency room. With croup and COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and January 15, 2022.

Croup is a common respiratory disease in infants and young children that occurs. When colds and other viral infections cause inflammation and swelling around the larynx, windpipe, and bronchi. It is characterized by a characteristic barking cough and sometimes rapid breathing (known as stridor). In severe cases, this can dangerously constrict breathing.

Most of the children in the study were under 2 years of age,

And 72% of them were boys. With the exception of one child with a cold virus, none had a viral infection other than SARS-CoV-2. Slightly more than 80% of cases occurred after Omicron has become the dominant variant of the coronavirus in the United States. “There was a very clear demarcation between when Omicron became the dominant option and when we started seeing an increase in croup patients,” Brewster said.

None of the children died, but nine (12%) were hospitalized, and four of these patients required intensive care.

Before COVID-19, less than 5% of children with croup were hospitalized, and only 1-3% of hospitalized patients required intubation, according to the study. The steroid dexamethasone was received by 97% of children in the study and 29% of children treated in the emergency department. All those who were hospitalized received racemic epinephrine via a nebulizer, which is designed for moderate to severe cases of croup.


Hospitalized children required an average of six doses of dexamethasone and eight nebulized epinephrine injections to control croup symptoms — more than is usually required for non-COVID croup. The findings were recently published in the journal Pediatrics. While mild croup can be treated at home with mist from a humidifier or steam from a hot shower.

the study authors say parents should seek medical attention if a child:

    •  frequent noisy breaths and a barking cough at rest.
    • Trying to breathe
    • Has increased fatigue or drowsiness
    •  blue lips or fingertips
    •  a temperature above 100.4°F for more than three days.
    •  mild croup symptoms lasting more than seven days.

The authors suggested that while many viruses can cause croup, parents should consider the possibility that their child has COVID-19 and consider testing them and other family members.

More information

For more information on croup, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCE: Boston Children’s Hospital press release March 15, 2022

WebMD News from HealthDay

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