Bronchiolitis is a very contagious viral infection of the bronchioles, the small airways that carry air to the back of the lungs. It usually affects children under two years of age, especially babies between 3 and 9 months old. When an infant’s bronchioles become infected, they prevent air from flowing properly through the lungs. When the walls of the bronchioles become inflamed and secretions increase, this leads to obstruction. In infants, this presents as an episode of respiratory discomfort, often accompanied by coughing or rapid, wheezing breathing. Usually preceded by a cold, bronchiolitis lasts from 7 to 12 days, sometimes up to 3 weeks. A child can be infected several times in the same year.
Infant bronchiolitis is most often caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), but it can sometimes be caused by common cold viruses (rhinovirus) or parainfluenza. This is generally mild. However, it can lead to complications in children with weakened immune systems or in young infants under two months of age, which can result in hospitalisation. It is therefore important to protect yourself and your children against infection.
As a highly contagious disease, bronchiolitis can be the source of epidemics in autumn and winter, as is currently the case. The transmission of this virus is airborne. This means that while someone is ill, the virus is present in saliva and snot, among other things, and is transmitted by the expulsion of droplets in the following ways:
The syncytial virus is very resistant and survives for up to 30 minutes on the skin and up to 7 hours on surfaces and clothing. Lack of hygiene, poorly ventilated places and contact with multiple people facilitate the spread of bronchiolitis.
A sigh may be heard when the child forces their breathing and a hollow appears under the ribs. The symptoms are normally mild and have little impact on the child's behaviour. However, they may eat and drink increasingly less because of their fatigue and the mucus that they are unable to clear from their bronchial tubes. Respiratory difficulties normally disappear on their own within a few days.
Some children develop cyanosis, i.e. a bluish colouring of the skin, apnoea, high fever or even an ear infection. In rare cases, breathing difficulties can develop into respiratory distress that requires hospitalisation. Particular vigilance should be given to infants born prematurely and to those with an already strained or weakened immune system.
As was the case with the Covid-19 health crisis, a few preventive hygiene rules and social distancing measures are necessary to prevent the transmission of the virus and avoid contracting bronchiolitis or reduce the risk of a recurrence:
Adults and older children who are carriers of these respiratory viruses usually have no symptoms or just a cold. It is therefore important to apply these measures to prevent bronchiolitis infections.
The bronchiolitis virus can live for several hours on surfaces. Regularly cleaning everyday objects, especially those in contact with a baby, is one of the ways to prevent infection and reduce the risk of recontamination. Viruses can be killed by hot washing at over 60°C. Unfortunately, not all objects allow this process. One alternative is the use of chemicals.
However, they can also damage certain materials and be harmful to health, especially for young children. But it is possible to disinfect all your belongings easily and effectively by using Laurastar DMS. This disinfects all materials naturally and quickly. It is therefore a perfect part of a preventive routine to protect your child, paying particular attention to anything that comes into contact with the face or mouth:
Dry Microfine Steam technology is found in all Laurastar hygienic steamers.
The IGGI steam sterilisation setwill be perfect for eliminating the bronchiolitis virus from all of your baby's belongings and those that they put in their mouths: teats, bottles, toothbrushes, teething rings, bath toys, utensils, plush containers, toys or gloves. Not only is it effective in preventing bronchiolitis, but it also eliminates up to 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, fungi and dust mites. This set is perfect for protecting your baby or child from viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections, candidiasis and oral thrush, without any chemicals.
To reduce the risk of bronchiolitis, it is also important to disinfect larger surfaces such as prams, changing bags, changing tables, mattresses, children's sheets, sofas and playmats. The IZZI high pressure hygienic steamer is the ideal candidate for this task. Powerful, reliable and ergonomic, it eliminates >99.999% of bacteria, viruses, fungi and 100% of dust mites, bed bugs (eggs and adults), clothes mites, lice and nits. It is the perfect ally for sanitising your home and disinfecting large surfaces quickly.
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