Croup is an upper airway infection marked by difficulty in breathing and barking cough.
Croup is a common respiratory infection commonly seen in young children. Croup is usually caused by a virus, and marked by inflammation of upper airways including the larynx (voice box) and trachea (wind pipe). The swelling in the windpipe interferes with normal breathing and causes a characteristic of barking cough.
Croup is contagious. It usually occurs a few days after the start of a cold and is generally caused by the same viruses which cause common cold. A child may contract a virus by breathing infected respiratory droplets coughed or sneezed in to the air. The viruses in these droplets may also survive on toys and other surfaces. If the child touches a contaminated surface and then touches her or his eyes, nose or mouth, the infection may follow.
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