Asking the question “How long is croup contagious?” will help to prevent the spread of the disease. This illness causes alarming coughing spells and must be effectively treated. It is a contagious disease that can be spread from person to person but can be prevented. Here is a look at the cause of croup its symptoms and home remedies that work.
What Is Croup?
Croup mostly attacks the respiratory system of young children but can strike adults as well. It is most prevalent in winter and fall months. The disease causes a person to suffer with a barking cough as it causes the airways to swell become narrow and prohibit breathing. Attacks usually get worse at night.
Causes Of Croup
This disease usually accompanies a cold that is caused by a virus. It is contagious and germs can be passed through coughs and sneezes. It is most contagious during the first few days especially when fever is present. After the fever has broke and most symptoms are gone it can no longer be contracted. A cough may linger for weeks after yet the person can return to a group setting without fear of spreading the disease. To prevent getting sick it is wise to keep hands washed and to stay away from an infected person.
Ways To Treat Croup At Home
Even though using an over the counter cough medicine may make sense they are not effective to treat croup. The only medicine that should be given is a pain reliever and fever reducer like Advil or Tylenol. Besides medicine there are other remedies that may be successful at managing symptoms.
- Remain Calm: During an attack it is essential to distract or offer comfort to the child. If the child gets upset and cries it will be harder to breathe. This can be a scary time for a child so it is important to act normal.
- Keep Air Moist: Using a humidifier will make breathing easier. When this is not an option steam from a warm shower will be just as effective.
- Sit upright: Keeping a child in an upright position will make it easier to breathe.
- Drink Fluids: It is essential to stay well hydrated when suffering from this illness. Water helps to flush toxins from the body and helps to break up mucus.
When To Seek Medical Attention
Most cases of the croup will go away in a few days. However there can be complications like pneumonia. When these symptoms develop it is necessary to seek medical attention:
- High Fever
- Breathing Becomes Fast Noisy Or Wheezing Occurs
- Struggling For Breath
- Nostril Flares Rapid Breathing Or Other Signs Of Respiratory Distress
- Blue Skin Lips Or Nails. This is an indication of oxygen deprivation.
When home remedies are not effective at treating this disease it may be necessary to visit the doctor or hospital. Medical treatment will include:
- Steroid Therapy: Steroids may be prescribed for oral use injection or IV use.
- Epinephrine: Nebulized epinephrine is sometimes given to fight the symptoms of croup.
- Oxygen: Certain cases of croup are treated with oxygen
There are many childhood illnesses that strike at different times of year. Croup is an illness that begins as a common cold and affects the respiratory system. Symptoms include a cough that sounds similar to the bark of a seal. Even though this may be alarming the disease usually goes away by itself in a few days. To prevent getting sick a person must keep hands clean and steer clear of an infected individual. The croup contagious period lasts until most symptoms subside.