While croup is most common in children ages 1 to 3, it is possible, though very rare, for symptoms of croup to appear in teenagers and adults, according to Patient.co.uk. Characterized by a barking cough, noisy breathing, runny nose, sore throat and fever, croup symptoms typically peak in one to three days, with the cough lingering for about a week. Though most cases of croup are mild, some become severe, necessitating additional treatment.
A minority of people suffering from croup need medical attention, according to Patient.co.uk. However, because croup can cause a narrowing of the breathing tubes, it is important to watch someone infected with croup for symptoms of labored breathing. Using a fever reducer helps to relieve pain and body aches associated with croup, and drinking plenty of liquids ensures hydration to help in the healing process.
In some cases of croup, steroid medications are used to lessen the severity of breathing symptoms, according to Patient.co.uk. Antibiotics should not be used to heal croup, as the illness is caused by a virus. Individuals should seek medical assistance if breathing becomes labored or a high fever persists after taking fever reducing medication. If a person with croup turns blue, drools, becomes unusually sleepy or is unable to breathe, emergency medical help is required.