Bronchiolitis is a viral infection of the lungs. Several viruses can cause it, but the most common is RSV (Respiratory Syncitial Virus). Another virus, HMPV (Human Metapneumovirus) has been on the rise recently.
Almost everyone gets RSV at some time. A study showed that more than 95% of children have antibodies against the RSV virus by age two. For most children, RSV infection is just a bad cold. But for some, most typically the very youngest infants, RSV can be more serious. It can cause wheezing, difficulty breathing and problems getting enough oxygen. There is cough, fever, runny nose, rattly chest and wheezing (high pitched noise when breathing), the child may breathe fast and have a hard time breathing. The usual signs of this are tugging in above the windpipe and collar bones and/or below or in between the ribs with each breath. An especially worrisome sign is a bluish or grayish color around the lips or finger or toe nail beds. If your child has any of these worrisome symptoms, be seen in the office or go to the emergency room right away.
The best way to protect your child during RSV season is to always wash or gel your hands before feeding them or doing anything around their mouth or nose. If visitors are sick, try to keep them away from your child if possible and have all visitors wash or gel there hands before holding your baby.
If you think your young infant has bronchiolitis, call the office for an appointment, please.