The Symptoms of Croup

At first, those of a slight cold, or catarrh,-slight fever, hoarseness, cough, running at the nose; after a few hours, fits of coughing, increased hoarseness, and harassed respiration, spasm of the muscles of the throat; characteristic symptoms now appear,-brassy, ringing, or barking cough, accompanied with a crowing sound, increased fever, embarrassment of the respiration, irregularity of the pulse, features expressive of distress, patient worse at night and better toward morning; in fatal cases, drowsiness increases, breathing becomes more embarrassed, lungs congested, skin covered with cold sweat; finally, coma, asphyxia, and death.

The Causes of Croup

The causes of croup are not thoroughly understood. They are probably similar to those which produce acute catarrh of the larynx. Indeed, it is held by some that croup is identical with acute catarrh of the larynx in adults, the difference in severity being due to the age of the patients. It occurs most frequently in children from two to six years of age, more often in boys than in girls. The disease is characterized by the formation of a false membrane in the larynx and trachea. It sometimes also affects the pharynx. The danger to life is from suffocation through accumulation of the false 'membrane.