Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the main causes of bronchiolitis in children, being the respiratory affections the ones that more medical consultations generated so far this year in the case of minors. The levels of contagion of these respiratory viruses, they alert the authorities, circulate at the usual seasonal level that they had before the Covid-19 pandemic.
This virus attacks the respiratory system and is particularly risky in cases of children under 2 years of age, since the bronchioles are still developing and can become inflamed, which causes bronchiolitis.
In this situation, the virus encounters a host that has “a developing respiratory system,” which “favors respiratory secretions.” “The secretions cause that very small caliber to quickly clog, and favor infection”explained long ago to PROFILE the pediatrician and infectologist Angela Gentle.
In Argentina, respiratory conditions are the third cause of mortality in children under 5 years of age.
They ask to vaccinate children for flu and bronchiolitis
The authorities of the Garrahan Hospital, due to a sustained increase in consultations of this type, asked adults that minors be up to date with vaccination and take preventive measures into account. “Today, between 50 and 70% of hospitalizations are due to respiratory causes”They said from the health center.
“Since epidemiological week 10 – the beginning of March – an increase in consultations for respiratory symptoms began to be registered. This trend has been consolidated in the current week 20 with greater circulation of respiratory syncytial virus and an increase in hospitalizations for bronchiolitis; when this seasonal peak usually occurs in week 24”, information from the Ministry of Health.
The higher incidence of respiratory infections, he pointed out from the portfolio, is also explained by the displacement they have suffered in previous years as a result of SARSCoV-2. “In Argentina, as at a global level, the circulation of influenza and other viruses was interrupted with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the years 2020 and 2021. After this period, the flu virus circulated again with unusual behavior, so it is important that people who present some risk factor get vaccinated in a timely manner, ideally before the beginning of winter”, they recommended.
Among the recommendations is the vaccination of boys and girls between 6 and 24 months of age. Although there are still no vaccines for some of the common respiratory viruses, many of the infections that are reported are also from the flu and can be prevented with proper vaccination.
The flu vaccination campaign in order to reduce serious complications, hospitalizations and deaths related to this disease is aimed at health personnel, pregnant people (at any time during pregnancy), puerperal people (before discharge from the maternity hospital), girls and children from 6 to 24 months of age, people from 2 to 64 years with risk factors, general population from 65 years.
The flu vaccine, available free of charge in all public vaccination centers and hospitals in the country, can be co-administered together with the other vaccines on the National Calendar and with the vaccine against COVID-19, details the official information.
Guards collapsed due to the increase in cases of bronchiolitis
How are respiratory infections spread?
Lower Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIB) are diseases that arise from the ears, nose and throat to the lungs. Occasional probes can mostly be caused by viruses, although they can also be bacteria or parasites, which are transmitted from person to person through droplets of saliva that we expel when coughing or sneezing. It can also be due to contact with contaminated surfaces such as door handles, public transport rails, tables or desks, among others.
They generally do not require antibiotics for their treatment and do not usually last more than 15 days. From the national health portfolio, the importance of taking preventive measures such as the ventilation of enclosed spaces and hand washing; Do not go to the workplace or school if you have symptoms; and consult the health team at the appearance of the first symptoms, especially in newborns and children at higher risk.
In the case of children, it is important promote breastfeeding, do not self-medicateKeep children in smoke-free environments and avoid overcrowded spaces, especially in children under 1 year and 6 months, who are the most at risk, Gentile explained.
Frequent symptoms of bronchiolitis in children and care to prevent it
- fever or fever
- Signs of bronchial obstruction (wheezing)
- Refusal of food
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Keep children away from people who are sick and show signs of a cold and/or fever
- Avoid coming into contact with objects that may be contaminated (toys, for example)
- ventilate the rooms
- If possible, do not send the child to day care in the first months of life. In the event that he attends, if possible prevent him from attending while the disease is ongoing
- Avoid smoke, especially tobacco, which increases the possibility of getting sick
- Continue breastfeeding for a long time
- Have the complete vaccination schedule
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