DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — With the increase in children COVID-19 cases doctors say a new symptom has become more frequent, croup, in their younger patients

“So its impacting kind of the upper part of the airway and we are seeing a lot more croup,” UAB Pediatric Infectious Diseases Co-Division Director Dr. David Kimberlin said. “That barky cough that happens in the middle of the night parents are very familiar with it from other viruses like parainfluenza virus”

Dr. Kimberlin does say they are still seeing the original COVID-19 symptoms like sore throat, coughing, congestion, and difficulty breathing, but they are beginning to see the omicron variant settle in the upper area of the throat.

However, doctors explain they are seeing less cases involving a symptom that was very prevalent in the previous variants.

“The loss of taste or smell. That’s still happening some, but its not described as often as it was back in 2020 moving in to 2021,” Dr. Kimberlin said.

The Omicron variant is also taking a toll on hospitals, as hospitals are seeing less ventilators in use compared to what they saw at the peak of the Delta variant, but more cases at their doorstep.

“Puts stress the number of staff, physicians, and nurses that are there to take care of the patients because they may be out sick as well,” Dr. Kimberlin said.

Dr. Kimberlin says that this is a variant he could see sticking around for a while, but that after two years of COVID-19 knowledge and experience that we will be better prepared

“Don’t think of this as inevitable. Don’t give up. We don’t have to let this get significantly worse if we all do our part,” Dr. Kimberlin said.