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by Martin JJ


Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus. There are several different types of virus that may cause it. The viruses are easily spread from person to person like a common cold . It spreads most often through coughs or sneezes which release droplets of moisture into the air. Breathing in the air can cause the infection in a noninfected person.


There is no vaccine to prevent bronchiolitis. There are some medications that may lessen the risk of bronchiolitis by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) . RSV is a virus which causes more than half of all cases of bronchiolitis. This preventative medication is usually given to high-risk babies. It is given monthly during high risk RSV season.
Proper handwashing habits can help to prevent the spread of illness. Make sure to wash your hands before touching your child. Also wash your hands after being in contact with an infected person.
Bronchiolitis can spread easily from one person to another. Children should be kept home until they are well. Teach your children to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when they cough or sneeze.


American Academy of Family Physicians

Kids Health



The Canadian Lung Association

The Canadian Paediatric Society



Bronchiolitis and your child. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: . Updated January 2010. Accessed July 19, 2012.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in infants and children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated April 7, 2012. Accessed July 19, 2012.

Gadomski AM, Bhasale aL: Bronchodilators for bronchiolitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006 :CD001266.

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8/10/2007 according to the following study, as cited by DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Corneli HM, Zorc JJ, Majahan P, et al. A multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of dexamethasone for bronchiolitis. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:331-339.

2/5/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Panickar J, Lakhanpaul M, Lambert PC, et al. Oral prednisolone for preschool children with acute virus-induced wheezing. N Engl J Med. 2009;360:329-338.


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