With the cold gradually setting in in Europe, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), responsible for bronchiolitis, is making a comeback. Several French regions are already at the epidemic stage and this is likely to spread in the weeks to come. How to recognize bronchiolitis in your child? Explanations from Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens.
Bronchiolitis has made a comeback in Europe. Already three metropolitan regions are affected and others are estimated to be in the “pre-epidemic” stage. What symptoms should alert you in your child? Answers from our expert.
Rapid or wheezing breathing
“You may notice that your child is breathing more quickly than usual or making wheezing noises while breathing. explains Dr. Kierzek. To realize this, you must listen carefully to the child’s breathing.
A persistent cough
“The cough may be dry and persistent. It can also become more serious over time.” adds the doctor.
“Some children with bronchiolitis may have a fever, although this is not always the case.” says Gérald Kierzek.
Loss of appetite
“Your child may have less appetite than usual and may refuse to eat” adds the doctor. It may therefore be useful to give smaller quantities, but more frequently, during the day.
According to Gérald Kierzek, “Children with bronchiolitis may be more irritable because of the discomfort they feel.”.
Dr. Kierzek explains that “your child may have a stuffy nose and produce more mucus than usual“. It is therefore important to clean his nose regularly, using physiological serum.
“In severe cases, your child may show signs of difficulty breathing, such as a hollow between the ribs or labored breathing“. Finally, remember that in 90% of cases, bronchiolitis is benign. But it is important to monitor your child carefully and not hesitate to dial 15 for medical advice or to make an appointment quickly with the doctor, in case worsening of his condition.
How to prevent bronchiolitis in infants?
To prevent your child from becoming infected with the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which causes bronchiolitis, here are some simple measures to follow:
- Wash your hands frequently;
- Do not smoke in the presence of your child;
- Do not take him to public places;
- Carry out nasopharyngeal disinfection regularly, with pipettes of physiological serum;
- Lower fever with paracetamol;
- Give the child something to drink regularly and split their meals.
This year, one of the issues concerning the bronchiolitis epidemic is to know whether the launch of a vast campaign to immunize babies with the Beyfortus preventive treatment will make it possible to reduce the number of hospitalizations. The enthusiasm surrounding this drug has been such that it is now reserved for maternity hospitals, awaiting the arrival of new stocks.