67 cases of the disease were presented to the Gladstone emergency department from a period between February-May this year.
67 cases of the disease were presented to the Gladstone emergency department from a period between February-May this year. lenetstan

Parents urged be aware of winter disease in Gladstone area

HEALTH authorities are warning Gladstone parents to look out for the signs of croup in their children.

According to new statistics from Queensland Health, 67 cases of the disease were presented to the Gladstone emergency department from a period between February-May this year.

Out of those, only one patient was admitted to the hospital.

Across Central Queensland, 186 children have been diagnosed with the disease in total this year.

Gold Coast Hospital children's emergency department clinical lead Dr Graham Jay said croup affected mostly babies and toddlers.

"It's a viral infection of the throat that causes the voice box and windpipe to swell,” Dr Jay said.

"We find it is more prevalent in the colder months, especially winter - most cases of croup are mild and can be resolved at home with rest and paracetamol.”

However, Dr Jay said croup could turn serious and need urgent medical attention.

"The symptoms can be quite severe and come on quite quickly, usually at night when the air is cooler and drier.”

Children with a severe case of the disease may not be able to suck enough air in, which could make them turn blue or appear extremely drowsy.

"These children require treatment in hospital - parents shouldn't hesitate to call 000.”

Treatments include oral steroid medication or, in very serious cases, adrenaline administered via a nebuliser to open up the airways.

Croup usually clears up in two to five days but the cough can persist for several weeks.

For more information, visit your GP or call 13432584.