Local pediatricians are seeing an uptick in patients with croup
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As Alabamians pursue a return to normal, doctors are now seeing an increase in common illnesses and children are getting hit especially hard.
Many of us have been taking expert advice and keeping our distance from others, washing our hands and wearing masks during this pandemic, but as we start to see those precautionary measures relaxed, pediatricians are now seeing an uptick in croup, an upper respiratory infection that causes a distinctive, barking cough in children.
It was last Tuesday when Melynda Schauer, her family, and a small group of church friends got together for the first time since the shutdown.
“Everybody ate outside on a Tuesday night, most of the adults are vaccinated and so we felt safe to do that and all the kids played outside,” Schauer said.
Schauer said by the weekend, four kids, from three different families who attended that gathering, had a fever and cough, including her two-and-half-year-old, Timothy.
“Clearly, my son had like the bark cough that kind of sounds like a seal barking. It’s awful. I posted about him…you know… being sick on social media and shared with some friends. Then I heard from a lot of other moms, and our pediatrician, that croup has been going around the last two to three weeks,” Schauer said.
Children’s of Alabama Hospital pediatrician, Dr. Peily Soong, said croup, a respiratory virus, is one of several illnesses going around right now that typically show up in winter.
“The masks have kept these respiratory illnesses under control and now that we’ve loosened up our mask restrictions and stuff, I think that’s when we started seeing all these respiratory viruses and illnesses come back up. It is important to still be checking these kids, if they’ve got new onset cough, fever, because you can see fever with croup, that we still are screening these kids for COVID,” Dr. Soong said.
Dr. Soong said if your child is under 6 years old and has that barking cough, or is having trouble breathing, do take them to see a doctor to rule out COVID-19.
He said doctors will typically treat croup with a steroid for a couple days to help with those breathing issues.
Croup usually resolves within a few days.
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