The observational study, recently published in the journal Pediatrics, describes 75 children who came to the emergency room at Boston Children’s Hospital (ED) from March 1, 2020 to January 15, 2022 with croup and COVID-19.

Infection with the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is associated with a common respiratory disease in young children known as croup, a previously unrecognized complication of COVID-19, according to a study.

The observational study, recently published in the journal Pediatrics, describes 75 children who came to the emergency room at Boston Children’s Hospital (ED) from March 1, 2020 to January 15, 2022 with croup and COVID-19.

The researchers noted that some cases were surprisingly severe, requiring hospitalization and more medication doses compared to croup caused by other viruses, adding that slightly more than 80 percent occurred during the Omicron period.

“There was a very clear delineation from when Omicron became the dominant variant to when we started seeing an increase in the number of croup patients,” said first study author Ryan Brewster, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center. Croup, also known as laryngotracheitis, is a common respiratory disease in infants and young children.

The disease is characterized by a distinctive barking cough and sometimes noisy, high intakes of breath, known as stridor. It happens when colds and other viral infections cause inflammation and swelling around the voice box, trachea, and bronchi.

In severe cases, including some seen at Boston Children’s, croup can dangerously constrict breathing, the researchers said. Previous studies of COVID-19 in animals have shown that the Omicron variant has more of a “preference” for the upper respiratory tract than previous variants, mainly targeting the lower respiratory tract. This may explain the sudden appearance of croup during the Omicron peak, Brewster said.

Most of the children with COVID-19 and croup were under the age of 2, and 72 percent were boys. Except for one child with a cold virus, everyone else was infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Although no children died, nine of 75 children with COVID-19-associated croup (12 percent) had to be hospitalized and four of them (44 percent, or 5 percent of the total) required intensive care, the agency said. researchers. † In comparison, before COVID-19, less than 5 percent of children with croup were hospitalized, and of those, only 1 to 3 percent needed intubation, they said.

In total, 97 percent of the children were treated with dexamethasone, a steroid. All those hospitalized received treatment reserved for moderate or severe cases, as did 29 percent of children treated in the ER. “Most cases of croup can be treated on an outpatient basis with dexamethasone and supportive care,” Brewster said. “The relatively high number of hospital admissions and the high number of medication doses required by our COVID-19 croup patients suggests that COVID-19 could cause more severe croup compared to other viruses,” he added.


This post Omicron Infection Linked to Common Respiratory Disease in Children: Study was original published at “https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/health/omicron-infection-linked-with-common-respiratory-illness-in-children-study/2462870/”

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