Bronchiolitis

Facts

  • 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.