Omicron COVID Causing Severe Croup in Young Children


FRIDAY, March 18, 2022 (HealthDay Information) –The Omicron COVID-19 variant may cause croup in younger kids, together with extreme circumstances that require hospitalization and intensive care, a brand new examine reveals.

“The comparatively excessive hospitalization charge and the big variety of medicine doses our COVID-19 croup sufferers required means that COVID-19 may trigger extra extreme croup in comparison with different viruses,” stated examine co-author Dr. Ryan Brewster, who’s within the mixed pediatrics residency program at Boston Kids’s Hospital and Boston Medical Heart.

“Additional analysis is required to find out one of the best therapy choices for these kids,” Brewster stated in a Boston Kids’s Hospital information launch.

Within the paper, docs described the circumstances of 75 kids who went to Boston Kids’s Hospital’s emergency division with croup and COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2022.

Croup is a standard respiratory sickness in infants and younger kids that happens when colds and different viral infections trigger inflammation and swelling across the voice field, windpipe and bronchial tubes. It’s characterised by a particular barking cough and generally high-pitched intakes of breath (often called stridor). In extreme circumstances, it will possibly dangerously constrict breathing.

Many of the kids within the examine have been beneath age 2, and 72% have been boys. Aside from one baby with a standard chilly virus, none had a viral an infection aside from SARS-CoV-2.

Simply over 80% of the circumstances occurred after Omicron turned the dominant coronavirus variant in the USA.

“There was a really clear delineation from when Omicron turned the dominant variant to once we began seeing an increase within the variety of croup sufferers,” Brewster stated.

Not one of the kids died, however 9 (12%) have been admitted to the hospital and 4 of these sufferers required intensive care.

Earlier than COVID-19, fewer than 5% of kids with croup have been hospitalized, and solely 1-3% of hospitalized sufferers required intubation, in accordance with the examine.

The steroid dexamethasone was given to 97% of the kids within the examine, and to 29% of these handled within the emergency division. All of those that have been hospitalized obtained racemic epinephrine by way of nebulizer, which is reserved for average or extreme circumstances of croup.


Hospitalized kids required a median of six doses of dexamethasone and eight nebulized epinephrine therapies to regulate their croup symptoms — greater than is often wanted for non-COVID croup.

The findings have been revealed not too long ago within the journal Pediatrics .

Whereas delicate croup may be handled at residence with mist from a humidifier or steam from a scorching bathe, the examine authors stated dad and mom ought to search medical care if a toddler:

  • Has frequent noisy inhalations and barking cough at relaxation
  • Struggles to breathe
  • Has elevated fatigue or sleepiness
  • Has blue lips or fingertips
  • Has a temperature increased than 100.4°F for greater than three days
  • Has signs of delicate croup lasting longer than seven days.

Whereas many viruses may cause croup, dad and mom ought to think about the chance that their baby has COVID-19 and take into consideration having them and different relations examined, the authors urged.

Extra data

There’s extra on croup on the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCE: Boston Kids’s Hospital, information launch, March 15, 2022

WebMD Information from HealthDay

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