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Croup is the name given to a particularly nasty viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, which can affect children usually between one and three years of age.

The name arises from the sound that is made when the child breathes out or coughs. The lining of the upper respiratory tract is attacked by this virus, causing it to swell and leads to a narrowing of the airway.

The noise is made as air passes out through this narrowed airway. The cough has been likened to the noise of a sea lion. The viral infection normally gives rise to a fever as well as the cough symptoms.

It is often helpful to allow the child to sit or lie near steam or use a room humidifier, as this will help to relax the airways. Occasionally it is necessary to be admitted to hospital especially for those children who are known to have a history of other breathing disorders as in Asthma and Bronchitis.

Additional Medical Conditions:

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