What are the presenting signs of viral croup?

The characteristic signs of viral croup are:

  • The infection often starts with a common cold or pharyngitis.
  • A mild fever
  • A typical ‘barking’ cough
  • Inspiratory stridor is often, but not always, present. It is usually worse at night and then much better in the morning.
  • Hoarseness of the voice is a less common sign in viral croup.

Viral croup typically presents at night with inspiratory stridor and a barking cough.

Stridor can also be cause by an inhaled foreign body, retropharyngeal abscess, epiglottitis or, rarely, by diphtheria.

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