How do I know if my child has bronchiolitis and what to do?

The wave of bronchiolitis has already reached Catalonia. This respiratory virus is saturating the emergency rooms and the pediatric ICU of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (Esplugues de Llobregat). But, in addition, it is generating a “significant influx” of visitors in others such as Vall d’Hebron o Sant Pau, both in Barcelona. These are some of the keys to know if your child has bronchiolitis and how to react.

The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is primarily responsible for lower respiratory tract infections in children under one year of age, such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

It is a common lung infection in infants and young children, causing inflammation and congestion in the bronchioles of the lung, although most cases are mild and usually resolve after a few weeks without treatment.

Not initially, but occasionally the infection can be aggravated producing respiratory difficulty that ends up forcing us to hospitalize the child. And in Spain this virus causes the 80% of bronchiolitis.

Respiratory syncytial virus is highly contagious and is most commonly transmitted in the kindergartens and schoolsdue to close contact between children. Thirty-three percent of infections in infants still at home occur through siblings and/or cousins already in school. In fact, the incidence of RSV is almost twice as high in children with siblings as in only children. Therefore, it is estimated that 90% of children will have been infected by RSV during the first two years of life.

What are the symptoms of bronchiolitis?

Fever, poor appetite, irritability, difficulty sleeping or prolonged sleep. Are some of the symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus. When the virus progresses to cause bronchiolitis y pneumoniaincreases the respiratory distress and there may be a decrease in blood oxygen pressure. In this case we may even notice that the skin takes on a bluish tinge.

How to protect children?

Faced with this wave of bronchiolitis, parents, in order to protect their children, must “take extreme measures”, according to the head of the pediatric ICU of Sant Joan de Déu, Carles Luaces. It is a virus that is spread through the air, so it is very important not to cough near the child, wash your hands thoroughly and do not smoke at home. “And especially if the baby has older siblings, contact should be avoided. And carry mask if anyone is infected,” says Luaces.

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