What's Going Around | Bronchitis

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If your child has been coughing, tired and maybe has complained of a feeling of soreness or tightness in their chest… then What’s Going Around may have hit home. Bronchitis is on the rise and it can be contagious. AdventHealth Centra Care doctors have seen an increase in children with bronchitis.

Bronchitis is inflammation of the large air passages in the lungs. It occurs when the mucous lining in the airways becomes irritated and swollen. Symptoms of bronchitis include a dry cough that develops into a cough with mucus, wheezing, fatigue, chest tightness and a mild fever, sometimes with chills. If you suspect your child has bronchitis, there are some things you can do at home help with symptoms:

  • Over-the-counter medications can help pain, fever and cough
  • A humidifier can help break up mucus
  • Give them lots of fluid
  • Make sure they get plenty of rest
  • Keep them away from tobacco smoke

Acute bronchitis is contagious so washing your hands and keeping them away from your face is an important step in prevention. Bronchitis often follows an upper respiratory infection. An annual, seasonal flu shot is recommended because many cases of bronchitis are also a result a flu infection.

Just like colds, most cases of bronchitis can’t be treated by antibiotics, and it will usually go away in seven to 10 days with extra rest and fluids. Albuterol inhalation, either with a hand held device or nebulizer will help dilate the bronchial tubes. Short-term steroid therapy will help minimize inflammation within the bronchial tubes.

If your symptoms worsen, you have shortness of breath, or a fever that lasts more than four or five days, you should contact your physician or head to the closest Centra Care.

Help prevent bronchitis by avoiding:

  • Air pollutants, irritants and allergens
  • Smoking/second-hand smoke - it lessens the body's ability to fight bacteria and viruses
  • Contact with people who have an upper respiratory infection like a cold or pneumonia, especially if you have a chronic illness or impaired immune system

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