Bronchiolitis is making a comeback, already declared in an epidemic phase in three regions of mainland Europe. An update on the issue with Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.
The bronchiolitis epidemic is back, in at least three metropolitan regions of Europe. After Île-de-Europe, Martinique and Guadeloupe, the Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Guyana regions entered the epidemic phase this Wednesday, October 18.
Five other regions are currently in the “pre-epidemic” phase
According to findings from Public Health Europe (SPF) for the week of October 9 to 15, activity in community medicine and hospitals has “continued to increase for bronchiolitis in children under 2 years old”. In total, 1,950 children under the age of two went to the emergency room for bronchiolitis, and 597 were hospitalized (i.e. +15% over one week).
More, “at the hospital level, the increases observed remained lower than those of the two previous seasons” notes, however, the health authorities. Among children under two years old, 1,950 visits to the emergency room for bronchiolitis were recorded, or 8.7% of visits (vs. 7.9% in S40). The number of hospitalizations after visits for bronchiolitis was 597, or 19.1% of hospitalizations (vs. 17.9% the previous week).
Five other regions are, for their part, considered to be in a pre-epidemic phase. An observation that does not surprise Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens. “Like every year, bronchiolitis appears, perhaps a little earlier this year. The epidemic will progress, spreading and gradually affecting all regions.”.
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, recommended by Dr. Gérald Kierzek:
- 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.
“And as a reminder, bronchiolitis is benign and does not require hospitalization in 90% of cases. Furthermore, it is a viral condition, so antibiotics are not necessary.” concludes the doctor.
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.