24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
When Is It Time for a Knee Replacement?AHA News: Death Rates From Tears In This Major Heart Artery Are Rising, Especially Among Women, Black AdultsOmicron COVID Causing Severe Croup in Young Children'Zapping' Air Passages May Bring Relief for Severe AsthmaModerna Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for All AdultsNew Tick-Borne Virus Is Spreading Across U.S.Memory Issues Plague Long COVID PatientsCOVID Vaccine Won't Cause Rare Neuro Events, But COVID Infection CouldTriglycerides a Stroke Danger, Even With Statin TreatmentIt Can Take Weeks for Some Patients With Severe COVID to Recover ConsciousnessOmicron Wave Had 5 Times as Many Small Kids Hospitalized Compared to DeltaBreathing Dirty Air Could Raise Your Odds for Rheumatoid ArthritisPalliative Care Crucial After Severe Stroke, But Many Patients Miss OutMammograms Can Also Highlight Heart Risks: StudyPfizer Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for SeniorsEven a Little Light in Your Bedroom Could Harm HealthMental Issues Can Linger More Than a Year After Severe COVIDRise in U.K. COVID Cases Closely Watched by U.S. Health OfficialsLong COVID May Bring Long-Term Lung DamageNew Malaria Treatment Gets First Approval for Use in ChildrenWarming World Means More Cases of Dangerous Low-Salt ConditionAbout 1 in 6 U.S. Couples Disagrees on COVID VaccinationCOVID Meds Appear to Work Against BA.2 Omicron Variant‘Deltacron’ Variant Rare and Not a Major ConcernCould Depression Make Dry Eye Worse?When Will Americans With Diabetes Get Relief From High Insulin Prices?COVID's Global Death Toll May Be 3 Times Official NumbersDrug Could Be Non-Antibiotic Alternative to Treat UTIsFlu Vaccine No Match for Circulating Variants This SeasonLymphedema in Legs Strikes 1 in 3 Female Cancer SurvivorsScience Brings Shortcut to Spotting 50 Rare Genetic DiseasesU.S. Airplane, Train and Transit Mask Mandates Extended to April 18Man Who Received First Pig Heart Transplant Has DiedPfizer Begins Trial of COVID Drug Paxlovid in Kids 6 to 17Could a Stool Test Help Spot Pancreatic Cancer?Upcoming Surgery Worry You? Poll Says You're Not AloneHalf of Americans Live With Legacy of Childhood Lead PoisoningIn Reversal, WHO Now Supports COVID BoostersLooking to Neanderthals to Explain Today's Lower Back PainWhat's More Accurate, Blood Pressure Readings at Home or Doctor's Office?Begin Now to Protect Your Heart as Clocks 'Spring Forward'Brain Changes May Fuel 'Long COVID' Anxiety, ConfusionAHA News: Break Up Binge-Watching by Taking a StandHow COVID-19 Can Change the BrainHeart Defects Could Raise Odds for Severe COVID-196 Healthy Steps to Preventing Colon CancerAHA News: These Three Risk Factors May Have the Biggest Impact on Dementia CasesU.S. Surgeon General Investigates COVID-19 MisinformationLong or Irregular Periods May Put a Woman's Liver at RiskCould Your Blood Type Make COVID Worse?
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Omicron COVID Causing Severe Croup in Young Children

HealthDay News
Updated: Mar 18th 2022

new article illustration

FRIDAY, March 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) --The Omicron COVID-19 variant can cause croup in young children, including severe cases that require hospitalization and intensive care, a new study shows.

"The relatively high hospitalization rate and the large number of medication doses our COVID-19 croup patients required suggests that COVID-19 might cause more severe croup compared to other viruses," said study co-author Dr. Ryan Brewster, who is in the combined pediatrics residency program 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 news release.

In the paper, doctors described the cases of 75 children who went to Boston Children's Hospital's emergency department with croup and COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2022.

Croup is a common respiratory illness in babies and young children that occurs when colds and other viral infections cause inflammation and swelling around the voice box, windpipe and bronchial tubes. It is characterized by a distinctive barking cough and sometimes high-pitched intakes of breath (known as stridor). In severe cases, it can dangerously constrict breathing.

Most of the children in the study were under age 2, and 72% were boys. Except for one child with a common cold virus, none had a viral infection other than SARS-CoV-2.

Just over 80% of the cases occurred after Omicron became the dominant coronavirus variant in the United States.

"There was a very clear delineation from when Omicron became the dominant variant to when we started seeing a rise in the number of croup patients," Brewster said.

None of the children died, but nine (12%) were admitted to the hospital and four of those patients required intensive care.

Before COVID-19, fewer 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 given to 97% of the children in the study, and to 29% of those treated in the emergency department. All of those who were hospitalized received racemic epinephrine via nebulizer, which is reserved for moderate or severe cases of croup.

Hospitalized children required a median of six doses of dexamethasone and eight nebulized epinephrine treatments to control their croup symptoms -- more than is usually needed for non-COVID croup.

The findings were published recently 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 said parents should seek medical care if a child:

  • Has frequent noisy inhalations and barking cough at rest
  • Struggles to breathe
  • Has increased fatigue or sleepiness
  • Has blue lips or fingertips
  • Has a temperature higher than 100.4°F for more than three days
  • Has symptoms of mild croup lasting longer than seven days.

While many viruses can cause croup, parents should consider the possibility that their child has COVID-19 and think about having them and other family members tested, the authors suggested.

More information

There's more on croup at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCE: Boston Children's Hospital, news release, March 15, 2022