Health Watch

Croup making Valley children sick

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Croup, a severe cough in children, is making the rounds across the Valley. The emergency room at Children's' Hospital Central California is especially busy this time of year. Flu, of course, is a commonly known illness, but health officials say another virus, called croup, is also prevalent in the Valley right now.

"It tends to affect kids a little bit more, because their airway is smaller and more narrow than you and I," Rougeh Awad, a charge nurse in the hospital's emergency room said.

Awad says croup is like whooping cough, only this usually starts off like the common cold. But this virus inflames airways around the voice box causing, in some cases, severe coughs.

"[It] is kind of like a bark-like cough, like a seal," Awad said.

Florence Bispo says she's always concerned her daughter, Serenity, will come down with a severe illness. "If there's other people sick around her, like her cousins, she'll stay a little bit far away from them," Bispo said.

Serenity hasn't had croup, but what she's caught before Florence says is scary enough. "It's scary. But keeping her up to date with her shots and giving her her medicine and stuff, that's just the main thing to do for her," she said. "And if it does happen I guess I'm just going to have to take her to the doctor."

Doctors are used to seeing these cases this time of year. The most severe cases may also cause kids to appear pale or even blue. The best way to protect yourself is by using sanitizer and always washing your hands.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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