Our Princess turned 15 months on Sunday and on the very same day, she was down with Bronchiolitis accompanied by high fever. This is not the 1st time Dana caught this viral infection and each time it pains us to see her take a long time to recover. I found a good writeup on Bronchiolitis on the web which gives us more insights on this ailment.
What is Bronchiolitis?
Bronchiolitis is a common illness of the respiratory tract caused by an infection that affects the tiny airways, called the bronchioles, that lead to the lungs. As these airways become inflamed, they swell and fill with mucus, making breathing difficult.
most often affects infants and young children because their small airways can become blocked more easily than those of older kids or adults. Bronchiolitis typically occurs during the first 2 years of life, with peak occurrence at about 3 to 6 months of age
Signs and Symptoms
The first symptoms of bronchiolitis are usually the same as those of a common cold:
These symptoms last a day or two and are followed by worsening of the cough and the appearance of wheezes (high-pitched whistling noises when exhaling), irritability, with difficulty sleeping and signs of fatigue or lethargy. The child may also have a poor appetite and may vomit after coughing.
The infections that cause bronchiolitis are contagious. The germs can spread in tiny drops of fluid from an infected person’s nose and mouth, which may become airborne via sneezes, coughs, or laughs, and also can end up on things the person has touched, such as used tissues or toys.
Infants in child-care centers have a higher risk of contracting an infection that may lead to bronchiolitis because they’re in close contact with lots of other young children.
The best way to prevent the spread of viruses that can cause bronchiolitis is frequent hand washing. It may help to keep infants away from others who have colds or coughs.
The incubation period (the time between infection and the onset of symptoms) ranges from several days to a week, depending on the infection causing the bronchiolitis. Cases of bronchiolitis typically last about 12 days, but kids with severe cases can cough for weeks. The illness generally peaks on about the second to third day after the child starts coughing and having difficulty breathing and then gradually resolves.
The best treatment for most kids is time to recover and plenty of fluids. Making sure a child drinks enough fluids can be a tricky task, however, because infants with bronchiolitis may not feel like drinking. They should be offered fluids in small amounts at more frequent intervals than usual.