Like every year, the lowering of temperatures also signals the return of bronchiolitis. In one week this childhood illness reached all departments of metropolitan France with the exception of Corsica, said the weekly bulletin of Public Health France on Wednesday.
Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory disease that primarily affects infants and children under 2 years of age. It is due more often syncytial respiratory virus (RSV), which attacks and infects small bronchi.
The virus causes difficulty breathing, fever and loss of appetite. Although in most cases bronchiolitis is benign, it can cause severe cases of breathing difficulties requiring hospitalization.
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A higher peak than in previous years
First aid visits to bronchiolitis increased by 31% compared to the previous week, when there were only 7 regions affected by bronchiolitis. Among children under 2 years seen in the emergency room from November 26 to December 2 for bronchiolitis, 1,581 were admitted to the hospital, 33%.
In Paris, pediatric emergencies at the Robert Debré hospital have experienced a large influx, with an average of 15-20 children hospitalized every day "almost exclusively for severe bronchiolitis for children under one year", according to the AP-HP (public assistance – hospitals in Paris).
"This epidemic is particularly severe this year, peaking – reached by the end of last week – higher than in previous years". AP-HP
And in New Aquitaine?
New Aquitaine is no exception: according to the regional epidemiological surveillance bulletin, Public Health France is in "epidemic phase" from Tuesday.
The rate of bronchiolitis among all hospitalizations of less than 2 years is in sharp growth at the beginning of December: 22.4% compared to 14% of the previous week.
Starting from November 28th 14 children were tested positively to the bronchiolitis virus (VRS): 3 at the University Hospital of Bordeaux, none at the University Hospital of Limoges and 11 at the University Hospital
Poitiers. These numbers are expected to increase significantly this week.
How can I prevent my child from being contaminated?
Older children and adults are often carriers of VRS but do not have signs – or a cold. They can be contagious without knowing it. The virus is transmitted very easily from one person to another from saliva, cough or sneezing.
To reduce the risk of infection, it is advisable to wash your hands regularly, ofavoid bringing the child into confined public places (public transport, shopping centers …) and regularly wash his toys and his "doudous".
Airing at least 10 minutes a day the rooms in which the child lives will also help clean the air and limit the risk of bronchiolitis.
When should I go to emergencies?
In most cases, bronchiolitis spontaneously heals after 5-10 days but the cough can persist for 2 or 4 weeks. To avoid complications, it is recommended to go to the emergency room:
– if the child is under 6 weeks
– if you are a former premature baby under 3 months
– if the child drinks less than half of his bottles for 3 consecutive meals
– if he vomits systematically, sleeps permanently or otherwise cries in an unusual way without being able to fall asleep
>> Consult the official directives of Public Health France, "Your son and bronchiolitis"