Is croup life-threatening?

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In most cases, croup is not life-threatening. If you think your child has croup, you should discuss the symptoms with your child's doctor to determine the severity of the illness. Croup is usually relatively mild and can be treated at home. However, if your child's symptoms get worse, you should contact your child's doctor immediately. Less commonly, more severe symptoms, such as having trouble breathing, rapid heart rate, bluish skin, or unusual fatigue may require immediate medical care. In rare cases, particularly those that involve breathing difficulty, croup may be serious enough to require hospitalization. Very rarely, croup can lead to a life-threatening condition called epiglottitis, which occurs when a bacterial infection causes the windpipe (trachea) to swell shut.

Continue Learning about Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Aside from strep throat, most sore throats caused by are contagious, viral throat infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics. The most common culprits of a viral throat infection include coxsackievirus, mononucleosis, and ...

the flu. Mononucleosis (mono) is a virus that causes symptoms that can last for weeks or months at a time. Viral throat infections are best treated with rest, liquids and other home remedies. If the sore throat causes you to have trouble breathing or a high fever, or results in spots in the back of your throat, call your doctor.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.