Croup, which is the swelling of the tissues around the voice box, is actually a response to a viral or bacterial infection rather than a distinct illness.
The inflammation can sometimes be severe enough to obstruct the airway, and in fact, is one of the most common causes of upper airway blockage in youngsters, affecting as many as 5% of children younger than six years old.
Croup is characterized by a cough that often sounds like the bark of a seal.
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