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Omicron symptom gives kids cough that sounds like dog barking

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Doctors are seeing an increase in a strange new symptom that indicates a child may be infected with the coronavirus.

The symptom is called croup. It mostly affects kids under five — a group that still remains ineligible for the COVID shot — and is defined as an infection of the respiratory system that causes inflammation and obstructs breathing.

This results in a cough that sounds like a dog barking. 

News 8 spoke with Dr. Evan Kreutzer, a pediatrician at Ascension St. Vincent, who says he’s not surprised kids are experiencing this. 

“With the new omicron variant, we know that the omicron variant as opposed to the delta variant seems to affect the upper airway more in children,” Kreutzer said. “So croup is a disease of the upper respiratory tract and gives kids a characteristic barking like cough.”

He says while it can be a frightening sight and sound for parents, croup is usually harmless. Generally, kids recover at home without medical intervention.