What are the signs and symptoms of croup?

Updated: Oct 09, 2019
  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Croup usually begins with nonspecific respiratory symptoms (ie, rhinorrhea, sore throat, cough). Fever is generally low grade (38-39°C) but can exceed 40°C. Within 1-2 days, the characteristic signs of hoarseness, barking cough, and inspiratory stridor develop, often suddenly, along with a variable degree of respiratory distress. Symptoms are perceived as worsening at night, with most emergency room visits occurring between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am. Symptoms typically resolve within 3-7 days, but can last as long as 2 weeks.

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