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Bronchiolitis: how to avoid the first cause of hospitalization in children under two years of age

It affects a large proportion of the child population under 2 years of age and is much more common in daycare centers and kindergartens, especially in autumn and winter. It is the first reason for child hospitalization with more than 30% incidence. There is currently no vaccine to prevent it.

This is a viral disease that causes inflammation in the bronchiolite – the smaller and distal areas of the bronchi responsible for the introduction of air into the lungs. Initially, the symptoms are mild and nonspecific: fever, cough, rot, nose obstruction, lack of appetite, and sleep complications. It can easily go wrong with the common cold or flu picture"said Carlos Velasco, a physician at the Department of Pediatric Pneumology in the hospital de Clínicas.

Although less than 10% of patients with bronchiolitis require hospitalization, this disease accounts for more than 30% of cases of pediatric hospitalization during the winter season. In severe situations, oxygen is required and, in some cases, hospitalization in an intensive care unit.

"There is currently no vaccine to prevent bronchiolitis caused by respiratory syncytial virus or adenovirus, but since the influenza A virus and B cause bronchiolitis, the influenza vaccine should be administered on an annual basis to each child under two years of age– explains Velaco.

The severity of bronchiolitis occurs when the disease progresses and the lungs fail to perform their primary function of oxygenation, resulting in a state of respiratory failure, lack of oxygen in the blood and tissues and accumulation of carbon dioxide. endangering the life of the child who suffers, "says the professional.

Among the preventive measures for maximal effectiveness is breastfeeding, which is essential for improving the child's immune system. Moreover, numerous studies have shown this children exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes are four to six times more likely to become infected or require hospitalization for this reason,

"The important thing is that parents have clear symptoms and do not delay the consultation, because once the disease progresses, control becomes more difficult and the child goes through respiratory symptoms that even make it impossible to eat or sleep." "Velasco concludes.

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