Bronchiolitis is a common infection in young children, occurring mainly in infants and children less than two years old. It is caused by viruses that affect the small air passages in the lungs.
The illness begins as a cold, leading to cough and breathlessness. This may interfere with feeding and sleep. Babies with bronchiolitis are usually sick for three to five days and gradually recover over the next three days. However, the cough may persist for two to three weeks.
Bronchiolitis is usually mild and treatment is largely supportive eg. rest, adequate feeding and fluid intake, and fever medication if fever is present. However, if your child develops shortness of breath or poor feeding, he/she may require admission to the hospital for further treatment. Treatment may involve the use of oxygen, nebuliser treatment, tube feeding or intravenous drip and other medications.
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