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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
What causes bronchiolitis?
Bronchiolitis is most often caused by a virus, usually the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). But many other viruses have been involved, including:
Some bacteria can also cause bronchiolitis, such as:
Initially, the virus causes an infection in the upper respiratory tract, and then spreads downward into the lower tract. Here, the virus inflames or even kills cells inside the respiratory tract. This leads to obstructed airflow in and out of your child's lungs.
What risk factors are associated with bronchiolitis?
Risk factors that increase the likelihood that your child may develop bronchiolitis include:
What are the symptoms of bronchiolitis?
While each child may experience symptoms of bronchiolitis differently, your child might experience:
Can bronchiolitis be prevented?
There is an injection that can help decrease your baby’s chance of getting RSV, the most common cause of bronchiolitis in children under 5 years of age. It is currently recommended only for high-risk infants, including premature infants (age at birth less than 35 weeks) and infants with chronic lung disease.
The medication is called either Palivizumab (Synagis), or respiratory syncytial immune globulin (RSV-IGIV). Your baby’s physician will be able to talk with you about whether this may be an option.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”