NewsWorldOmicron linked with croup in babies

Omicron linked with croup in babies

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is causing a dramatic rise in cases of croup, a dangerous respiratory condition usually seen in babies and toddlers, new data suggest.

Croup, which causes a distinctive barking-like cough and high-pitched sounds when patients inhale, happens when viruses cause swelling in the respiratory tract that makes it hard to breathe.

From the start of the pandemic until mid-January 2022, emergency physicians at Boston Children’s Hospital treated 75 children with croup, all but one of whom had COVID infections.

Eighty percent of those cases occurred after Omicron began circulating in December 2021, they reported in Pediatrics.

Most of the children were treated with steroids and sent home, but some required hospitalization.

Overall, the children required more medication doses compared to children with croup caused by other viruses, the doctors found.

“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,” study leader Dr. Ryan Brewster said in a statement.

While many viruses can cause croup, parents should be aware of the possibility that a child with croup has COVID-19 and consider having them and other family members tested, the researchers advised.


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