- Bronchiolitis is a viral infection of the small airways in the lungs called bronchioles
- When the airways become infected, they swell and fill with mucous making it difficult to breathe.
- Most cases of bronchiolitis occur in children under 2.
- The majority of cases are caused by RSV(respiratory syncitial virus), but many other viruses can cause it as well
- Most cases of bronchiolitis resolve in 2-3 weeks, but can sometimes take longer.
- Antibiotics cannot be used to treat bronchiolitis because it is caused by a virus.
- Often, inhaled medications are used to help with the symptoms of bronchiolitis.
Return to Childhood Illness Glossary.