Bronchiolitis – Causes and Symptoms of Bronchilitis

Bronchiolitis is an infection of the bronchioles, which are the small air passages in the lungs. This is a common infection of the lungs and is the cause of serious and severe lower respiratory tract infections in the infants. This is caused by a virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This infection usually occurs in the late fall to early spring. Symptoms include cough, runny nose and fever. A severe infection may cause increased breathing rate in children.

Causes of Bronchiolitis
The causes of this infection include:

  • In about 85% of the cases, it is caused by the Respiratory syncytial virus.
  • This virus is highly contagious and can easily spread through physical contact or contact with any infected object.
  • The modes of transmission are by shaking hands, kissing and an infected tissue paper, table and toy.
  • This virus can survive for 30 minutes on a person’s hands and can remain for about five hours on objects like cups and telephones.
  • It can become airborne, when a person sneezes, laughs and coughs.
  • The virus enters the body through the nasal and eye secretions.
  • Adenoviruses also can cause severe symptoms of bronchiolitis.

Risk Factors
Some of the greatest risk factors for getting bronchiolitis include:

  • Younger than 6 months old.
  • Children who have never been breast-fed.
  • Having siblings who attend school or child care that brings home the infection.
  • Exposure to tobacco.
  • A depressed immune system.
  • An underlying heart-lung condition.
  • Premature birth.

Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Bronchiolitis include:

  • Pink eye that is the inflammation of the conjunctiva
  • Irritability
  • Flaring nostrils
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation of the middle ear, digestive tract or upper respiratory tract
  • Throat infection

When to consult a Physician?
If your child experiences any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention:

  • Refusal to drink fluids
  • Lethargy
  • Exhaustion from trying to breathe
  • Skin turning blue, especially around the lips and fingernails.
  • Breathing very fast more than 40 breaths a minute
  • Vomiting
  • Breathlessness while eating
  • When you find the above symptoms, consult your physician immediately.

1 response to Bronchiolitis – Causes and Symptoms of Bronchilitis

  1. My son had Bronchiolitis at 6m it went from a runny nose/cold to full blown blue lips and fingers within 9 hours! He spent 4 days in hospital on our first family holiday. He also had a gastro/ vomit bug so was very dehydrated. He was on a drip for 24 hours. He threw up alot of his mucus in the end which was actually a huge help. And the best part was in hospital when your children throw up all over the place – the staff rush around cleaning up for you!!! It was great! They said the fact he was breast fed helped him not get even sicker.

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