Another day, another symptom to look out for. The Omicron varianthas proven to be a force to be reckoned with, as it not only has broken records all over the world, it is on the brink of exhausting medical resources.
This is the latest symptom to come to light, but this one should be particularly monitored in kids who catch the respiratory virus.
What is the symptom?
According to reports, kids under the age of five have been experiencing a severe cough that resembles a 'harsh barking noise.' This has been observed for the first time as a result of the influx of COVID cases linked to the Omicron variant.
Although the cough in question is not necessarily a cause for concern, it can alert parents as it sounds different to normal coughs caused by the common cold. Dr Buddy Creech, a paediatric infectious disease expert and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program explained that:
Little kids' airways are so narrow that it takes far less inflammation to clog them. This is why when youngsters breathe with such inflamed airways, it can easily irritate and spark a cough that sounds like a dog or seal.
A croup-like cough
Experts who have noticed the particularity in sound of the cough in children have compared it to a cough similar to those who catch croup—an infection of the upper airway. Still, according to health expert Amy Edwards, there should not be much to worry about. She says:
As paediatricians, seeing more kids with croup and bronchiolitis is oddly reassuring, because we've been dealing with those conditions for our entire careers.
Croup can be scary to hear, but it doesn't mean there is any problem with the lungs. The main treatment is to keep the upper airways open and clear until the inflammation subsides.