What is Bronchitis or Bronchiolitis, Symptoms, Differences and Treatment

Bronchitis or Bronchiolitis
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The significant increase in respiratory virus infections in children has been saturating pediatric emergencies in the Aragonese community for weeks.

Respiratory virus infection in children “has not yet reached its peak.” This was stated this Friday by the manager of the health sector II of Zaragoza, Luis Callén , who also acknowledged that there are still “hard” days in pediatric emergency care, where more than 200 minors are being treated every day, “well above than the usual average.

A large part of the consultations attended are caused by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) “which is mainly affecting young children”, which causes bronchiolitis in infants and bronchitis in people over two years of age .

Normally in bronchiolitis the virus causes inflammation and necrosis of the bronchus, which has a finer caliber . On the contrary, if the viral infection affects the thickest ramifications , so the diagnosis is clearly bronchitis,” explains Elena Javierre, pediatrician and president of the Aragonese Association of Primary Care Pediatrics.

And in terms of treatment, this is very similar for both one infection and the other,” says the pediatrician.

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Treatment for Bronchitis and Bronchiolitis

Hydration, environmental measures , “avoiding dry spaces and tobacco smoke ” -says Javierre, and a postural control “that allows the child to sleep a little incorporated so that secretions do not accumulate”, in addition to washing with serum “to maintain clear airways are essential,” advises the doctor.

“In cases of bronchitis , the use of inhaled medication may be necessary , for which short-acting bronchodilators, the famous Salbutamol, are recommended,” says Elena Javierre.  Therefore, when we see an affected infant, we do not recommend this medication, nor corticosteroids , “adds the pediatrician. 

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Should Antibiotics Be Taken for a Viral Infection?

The answer is no. “It is not necessary because they are viral processes ,” confirms Elena Javierre, who adds that “yes, there could be a case of complicated or superinfected bronchitis in which it would be advisable to use antibiotic treatment, but it is not required to begin with.”

As for mucolytics, cough syrups, expectorants , cough suppressants or antihistamines, Javierre does not advise them since “they are drugs that do not have proven scientific evidence either and can have adverse effects,” concludes the pediatrician.

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