Health Information For Parents

A to Z: Bronchiolitis

Content

Bronchiolitis is a common illness of the respiratory tract caused by an infection that affects the tiny airways, called the bronchioles, that lead to the lungs.

More to Know

Bronchiolitis is usually caused by a viral infection, most commonly respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV infections are responsible for more than half of all cases of bronchiolitis and are most widespread in the winter and early spring. Other viruses associated with bronchiolitis include rhinovirus, influenza (flu), and human metapneumovirus.

The infections that cause bronchiolitis are contagious. The best way to prevent the spread of viruses that can cause bronchiolitis is frequent hand washing. It may help to keep infants away from others who have colds or coughs, and away from cigarette smoke.

Keep in Mind

Fortunately, most cases of bronchiolitis are mild and require no specific professional treatment. The best treatment for most cases is time to recover and plenty of fluids.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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Resources

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.

  • American Academy of Family Physicians

    This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.

  • CDC: Flu (Influenza)

    The CDC’s site has up-to-date information on flu outbreaks, immunizations, symptoms, prevention, and more.

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

    The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.

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