T1 – Introduction

Croup (“laryngotracheobronchitis”) is a common respiratory infection affecting the upper and lower respiratory tract in children. 

The causative organism is usually viral, most commonly the parainfluenza virus. These viruses are easily spread through the air by mucus droplets during sneezing or coughing, through direct person-to-person contact, as well as by indirect contact when items such as toys, utensils, cups, and other objects have contaminated mucus on them from an infected child.

Is Croup contagious?

Croup is very contagious. Airborne droplets spread from an infected child to another child or adult.

You have a mom ring up after you gave her a diagnosis of croup yesterday. They are going on holiday on a train in 2 weeks and she wants to know if her child will still be contagious.

Would you know what to advise?

Croup is contagious during the incubation period and for about seven to 10 days after symptoms develop.

Mom is also pregnant and she wants to know if she can catch it.

Croup viruses can be transferred to pregnant women, but the viruses that cause croup should not affect the fetus. However, pregnant women may have more severe symptoms of croup than non-pregnant women (best practice is to also refer her to her midwife if she is concerned.)