A common condition in infants and young children in which narrowing and inflammation of the airways causes hoarseness, stridor (a grunting noise during breathing), and a barking cough. Croup may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection that affects the larynx, epiglottis (see epiglottitis), or trachea. Other causes include diphtheria, allergy, spasm caused by deficient calcium in the blood, and inhalation of a foreign body. Most cases are due to a viral infection and are mild. Humidifying the air can help to make breathing easier. Nebulized corticosteroid drugs (see nebulizer) and oxygen may be prescribed. Infections are treated with antibiotic drugs.


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