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Can Babies Get Bronchitis?



Babies CAN get bronchitis.

More Info: Bronchi are airway passages to the lungs. Infections or inflammation within these passages are known as bronchitis. If an infant has a cold, flu, sinus infection, or similar agent acting on their reparatory system, it can spread to the bronchi. If bacteria take hold here, the airways in the body become inflamed and bronchitis is developed. When an infant gets bronchitis, it is a much more serious and infectious disease known as bronchiolitis.

Bronchitis versus Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis shares nearly identical symptoms and site of infection to bronchitis. While bronchitis affects bronchi in our lungs, bronchiolitis takes hold in the bronchioles deeper in the windpipe. Bronchiolitis in infants is primarily caused by viruses, but can also be caused by infections, cigarette smoke, and other similar irritants. While bronchitis infections are often susceptible to antibiotics, bronchiolitis, which is caused by viruses, are usually not responsive to such treatments.

Symptoms in Infants

Vomiting, dehydration, blue skin, and irritation are telltale signs of this disease. It often follows a runny nose or cough as the disease gets progressively entrenched in the infant’s lungs.  Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a contagious virus, also causes bronchiolitis in infants. Half of all cases in infants follow some fort of respiratory infection, and consequently there are more causes in the winter and spring than the rest of the year. There is no vaccine for bronchiolitis or respiratory syncytial virus.



Shay, MD, MPH, David K. , and et al. “Bronchiolitis-Associated Hospitalizations Among US Children, 1980-1996 .” JAMA 282.15 (1999): 1440-1446. Print.

“Respiratory Syncytial Virus Bronchiolitis in Infancy Is an Important Risk Factor for Asthma and Allergy at Age 7 .” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine . N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2012.

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