What is “croup”?
In France, the term “croup” is little used and pediatricians speak of a form of “acute laryngitis”.
This upper respiratory infection mainly affects young children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years, and more often than boys.
The symptoms are characteristic: a “barking” cough and a “husky” voice, explains Dr. Andreas Werner, vice president of the French Society of Ambulatory Pediatrics.
These signs may be accompanied by a fever, sometimes difficulty breathing with noises on inhalation. In severe cases, respiratory distress may occur.
Cases in the United States
Omicron, unlike other variants, affects Upper respiratory tract (nose, pharynx and larynx). So it is reasonable to ask whether this variant is the cause of laryngitis.
In a pre-publication study published on March 8, 2022 in the journal PediatricsUS pediatricians have reported an increase in cases of “croup” linked to the coronavirus.
According to their data, 75 children at Boston Children’s Hospital were treated for “croup” in the context of Covid between March 2020 and January 2022. 80% of cases occurred recently during the Omicron wave.
But beware, this is a study of a limited number of patients, for whom genotyping of the virus has not been performed.
What about France?
For Dr. Myriam Bonnevoy, a pediatrician, there really is”Laryngitis returns for one to two weeks“.”We don’t always test them (note: for the virus), especially if the kids don’t have a fever” specify. Moreover, she also notesNo more Omicron-related sore throat.”
On the other hand, for Dr. Werner, the results are not the same. In fact, I have”No recent increase in laryngitis cases in his office.
But specialists insist on one fact: Acute laryngitis can be caused by other respiratory viruses, such as influenza, and is not limited to Covid-19.
So far, we cannot conclude that there was a re-emergence of laryngitis caused by Omicron specifically in France.
Should we be worried?
“Laryngitis is common, a disease we know how to treatIn the case of acute laryngitis without serious signs, corticosteroids are treated at home. If there is severe pain in the respiratory tract, then aerosols are carried out in the emergency room. Hospitalizations are still rare.
In the end, Omicron or not, there is”Do not worry“According to my pediatrician, there is nothing that can compare with ‘PIMS’ (Pediatric Post-Infectious Multisystem Syndrome), a serious inflammatory complication that can occur after Covid in children.
So far, in France, neither the health authorities nor the specialists have issued any specific recommendations regarding possible laryngitis associated with Covid in children.
Read also: Covid: Should we expect a new wave in the spring?