Bronchiolitis – RSV: Symptoms and Care
Bronchiolitis-RSV is a virus-borne infection that affects infants and children. The condition is characterized by wheezing, difficulty breathing, persistent coughing, and sometimes fever. Bronchiolitis-RSV can sometimes be severe and cause wheezing as the airways become severely obstructed. It is also highly contagious and can spread quickly among children in large group settings like daycare or preschool. The symptoms may be milder for older children, but treatment should still be administered to prevent significant complications.
Occasionally, RSV is a mild cold that goes away on its own. However, some infants and young children may develop bronchiolitis, a viral infection of the lungs that can lead to hospitalization. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms of both RSV and bronchiolitis so you can seek medical attention if necessary. Contact your local pediatrician immediately if you think your child may have either of these conditions.
The infection can be treated at home but may become severe after a certain period. The following symptoms may require immediate medical attention by a pediatrician for the child:
- Severe trouble breathing (struggling for each breath, can barely speak or cry)
- Passed out or stopped breathing
- Lips or face are bluish when not coughing
- You think your child has a life-threatening emergency
- Your child looks like they did when hospitalized before with bronchiolitis
- Ribs are pulling in with each breath (called retractions)
- Not alert when awake (“out of it”)
- Trouble breathing, but not severe
- Lips or face have turned bluish, but only during coughing
- New harsh sound with breathing in (called stridor)
- Wheezing (purring or whistling sound) is worse than when seen
- Breathing is much faster than when seen
- Dehydration suspected. No urine in more than 8 hours, dark urine, parched mouth, no tears.
- High-risk child (such as chronic lung disease) and getting worse
- Fever over 104° F (40° C)
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent
The above symptoms are severe, but milder symptoms can be nursed at home or may not require medical attention. The milder symptoms include:
- Fever returns after being gone more than 24 hours
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
- Coughing causes vomiting three or more times
- Mild wheezing sounds last more than seven days
- Cough lasts more than three weeks
It is essential to be aware of the symptoms of RSV and bronchiolitis in young children so that you can know when to seek medical attention. If your child has any of the symptoms mentioned above, please take them to a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent further complications from these illnesses.
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