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Uncommon presentation of a common disease: influenza A presenting as adult croup 


An 88-year-old woman presented to our emergency room with complaints of fever, coryza, barking cough and generalised fatigue for 2 days. Physical examination showed stridor, tachypnoea with use of accessory muscles of respiration on admission. Laboratory tests were unremarkable except for monocytosis with a normal total white cell count. Rapid influenza diagnostic test was positive for influenza A. Chest X-ray showed subglottic narrowing of the trachea suggestive of steeple sign. A diagnosis of influenza A-induced croup was made. She was given humidified oxygen, nebulised racemic epinephrine, intravenous dexamethasone and oseltamivir. Stridor resolved within minutes of giving nebulised epinephrine. Work of breathing improved within 4–6 hours. She was discharged 2 days later on a tapering dose of steroids.

  • influenza
  • radiology

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