Frequently Asked Questions About Croup

frequently asked question about croup

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  • Croup is an infectious disease, which means that it can be caused only by pathogenic organisms like viruses and bacteria that invade the body
  • The viral infection that causes croup is often transmitted through mucus droplets that were coughed or sneezed by an infected patient, touching items or surfaces with infected mucus or via person-to-person contact
  • Instead of conventional medicines like steroids and over-the-counter painkillers that are linked to different side effects, opt for natural remedies when trying to alleviate croup

Q: How long does croup cough last?

A: Croup cough usually clears up in 48 hours, but some patients can have croup symptoms lasting up to five days,1 or even up to two weeks.2

Q: What is the cause of a barking cough in croup?

A: The barking cough that’s characteristic in croup develops because of swelling in the larynx (vocal cords), trachea (windpipes) and bronchi (bronchial tubes), causing the passageway around these areas to narrow. The vocal cords produce a barking sound when the cough forces air into the said passage.3

Overall, croup mainly occurs because of a viral infection, either by the parainfluenza I, II, III and IV virus, measles virus, rhinovirus, enterovirus or respiratory syncytial virus.4,5 In some cases, croup can be caused by:6,7

Inhaling a foreign object like a peanut or pen cap, or chemicals

Acid reflux

Abscess in tissues at the back of the throat

Epiglottitis

Allergic reactions to substances like pollen or dust mites

Q: Is the croup virus contagious?

A: Yes. In children, croup tends to be most contagious during the first three days of fever and illness.8 The disease can also spread to adults, teens and older children.9 The viral infection that causes croup is often transmitted through mucus droplets that were coughed or sneezed by an infected patient, touching items or surfaces with infected mucus or via person-to-person contact.10

Q: How long is croup's incubation period?

A: There is a 24- to 72-hour incubation period between exposure to the croup-causing virus and development of initial symptoms.11

Q: Is croup hereditary?

A: No. According to Right Diagnosis, croup is an infectious disease, which means that it can only be caused by pathogenic organisms like viruses and bacteria that invade the body.12

Q: How is croup treated?

A: Croup treatment begins with knowing the cause of the disease and whether it’s a viral or bacterial infection.13 Instead of conventional medicines like steroids and over-the-counter painkillers that are linked to different side effects, opt for natural remedies when trying to alleviate croup.14,15

Q: How can I treat croup at home?

A: Raw honey, chamomile, lemon tea, horsemint, wild cherry bark and mullein milk are examples of effective croup home remedies that have a low risk for complications too.16 It is advisable, though, to consult a physician or health expert first to ensure that you can safely take any of these.

Other methods that can help alleviate croup include using a cool or warm mist vaporizer near the child, letting him or her breathe inside a bathroom that was steamed with hot water from the tub or shower or by exposure to cool night air, especially if the cough or stridor worsens at night.17

Q: What essential oils can be used to treat croup?

A: You can try using wintergreen, marjoram, lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils to help lessen croup-caused discomfort.18,19 Prior to using any of these, don’t forget talk to a physician or trusted health expert and undergo an allergen patch test to check if you have sensitivities.

MORE ABOUT CROUP

Croup: Introduction

What Is Croup?

Is Croup Contagious?

Croup in Adults

Croup Symptoms

Croup Causes

Types of Croup

Croup Treatment

Essential Oils for Croup

Croup Prevention

Croup FAQ


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