Evidence suggests that other viruses like influenza viruses, enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can also precipitate this infection.
Incidence of Croup
The study reported the incidence of croup infection in a healthy 23-month-old infant who presented for admission with sudden onset of fever and a “barking” cough, at the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) of the Gazi University Hospital during Turkey’s omicron wave.
On being evaluated, the infant was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 through a nose swab and was diagnosed with SARS-CoV-associated croup. Following this, the patient was treated with steroid dexamethasone and inhaled adrenaline and oxygen reservoir for 2 days (two doses) that eased noisy breathing and tachypnea (increased heart rate).
Following the patient was discharged on the third day, and there was complete resolution of the illness by the seventh day.
However, most cases of croup can be managed efficiently at home through over-the-counter medications, plenty of water, and rest, unless there is a worsening of respiratory distress that seeks immediate medical help.
Need for Strict Vigilance
The team had found 75 cases of children diagnosed with COVID-19-associated croup, among which 81% of the cases had occurred during the omicron wave.
The study thereby highlights the need for adding COVID-19 to the viral panel to determine the origin of croup (although COVID is not pointed to contribute to the severity of croup).
“Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the pathogenicity, infectivity, and manifestations of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been dynamic and unique. Croup may represent yet another such novel presentation. Further research is needed to characterize the underlying mechanisms of COVID-19-associated croup, differences in clinical features from other viral etiologies, and appropriate management strategies in the SARS-CoV-2 era,” they wrote.