Arefin is a little over 7 months old. Entering the chamber looks around, looks at me, and smiles at the flowers on the table. His mother said that even 2 days ago he had nothing but a cold in his nose. Then cough since last morning and rattling in chest since last night with chest tightness. Since morning it seems that his breathing has started. Cousin Fatir also had this happen 3/4 days ago. His mother is asking? Did he have severe pneumonia? Is this pneumonia contagious? Other than a slight fever and increased breathing rate, no problems were detected on examination. Still, after doing a chest x-ray, I confirmed that it was not pneumonia, but bronchiolitis, a respiratory disease. Although it appears with respiratory problems like pneumonia, it is not a disease responsible for the death of children in large numbers like pneumonia.
What organisms are responsible for this?
This disease is caused by virus infection. RSV influenza, parainfluenza, adeno etc Viruses are responsible for this. Children develop respiratory distress or bronchiolitis within 2 to 8 days of infection in the eyes or nose.
Which children are more at risk?
1. Babies below 6 months of age. 2. Boys are more affected. 3. It is more common in children born malnourished. 4. Babies who are not breast fed. 5. A room where there is more smoke, smoking and more people crowded together.
When is this disease?
Its prevalence increases in winter and early spring. And at the beginning of summer and autumn it decreases completely. Sometimes the disease can spread among children in the area. But it can happen throughout the year.
What to test?
Diagnosis is usually made by taking the patient’s history and physical examination. However, a chest x-ray, blood test and oxygen saturation are seen in severely affected children.
It is possible to give treatment at home
95 percent of patients can be treated at home. The patient can be given all natural foods including breast milk. Keeping the head elevated will reduce breathing difficulties. If the nose is blocked, clean it with normal saline. Do not apply cold. Bathe in lukewarm water. Use paracetamol for mild fever. Medicines like salbutamol, theophylline are not very effective.
When will be admitted to the hospital?
1) Acutely infected patient, 2) If the child is passed out, 3) If the fever is high, 4) If the child cannot eat, 5) If the respiratory rate exceeds 60/70 per minute or if the lips, nose turn blue, the child must be transferred to the hospital.
In hospital bronchodilator aerosol, oxygen, intravenous saline etc is treated with
Tips and things to know
It is not pneumonia. But from time to time many children are seen to get this disease. This disease is self-healing. But you have to pay attention to the child’s comfort. It may take 2/3 weeks for the cough to go away. Although the disease does not recur, wheezing and wheezing may persist in some. Pneumonia does not need to be treated with antibiotics and should not be given repeatedly to the child.
How to reduce the incidence of the disease:
1. Wash your hands before and after handling the baby.
2. Give the baby breast milk regularly.
3. Do not create smoke or smoke around the baby.
Neonatal and Pediatric Specialist
Rupashi Bangla Hospital
833 Shanir Akhra, Zia Sarni, Kadmatoli, Dhaka.
Phone: 01787 740 740.