A two-year-old was diagnosed with croup — a viral infection of the upper airway — after his family noticed that his voice had turned hoarse and he had a barking cough, which his doctor said are characteristic symptoms of the infection.
The symptoms and other signs of croup are the results of swelling around the larynx and trachea, Taipei Shu-tien Clinic pediatrician Tai Chi-shan (戴季珊) said.
When air travels through the narrowed airway, it produces a loud and hoarse sound as the person inhales or exhales, Tai said.
Croup often worsens or develops at night and could even be fatal if the symptoms are severe, she said.
It is a common disease among children aged six months to three years old, especially during seasonal changes.
The infection is less common among older children, she said, adding that boys are slightly more susceptible to it than girls.
Many parents mistake croup for asthma, but they are completely different. Croup features a characteristic barking cough due to an infected upper airway, where a swollen throat and tissues make inhaling more difficult than exhaling, Tai said.
Asthma is characterized by a whistling breathing sound due to lower airway obstruction, where contraction of the inflamed bronchial muscle makes exhaling more difficult than inhaling, she added.
Croup is usually not serious and can be treated at home, but children who have croup and breathe with a wheezing sound even when not crying or agitated, or develop breathlessness, should seek a pediatrician’s advice on whether an adrenaline spray and long-lasting steroids are needed to reduce airway swelling, Tai said.
Noting that croup — which resembles a typical cold at the early stage — is also contagious, Tai said that enhanced household hygiene measures should be implemented if any family member has the infection.
People with croup should seek medical assistance immediately if they find themselves having a difficult time breathing and swallowing, becoming weak and pale, or if their symptoms last beyond seven days, she added.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up