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 in our area these days and it can be contagious.
Centra Care doctors have seen an increase in children with Bronchitis in the following areas of town:
● Port Orange – up 900% (kids)
● Dr. Phillips – up 500% (kids)
● Kissimmee- up 400% (kids)
● Altamonte Springs – up 300% (kids)
● Sand Lake – up 300% (kids)
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.
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 a result a flu infection.
If you suspect your child has Bronchitis, there are some things you can do at home to help with symptoms:
- Over the counter medications can help pain, fever and cough
- A humidifier can help break up mucus
- Give them lots of fluids
- Make sure they get plenty of rest
- Keep them away from tobacco smoke
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.
Bronchitis usually goes away on its own in about a week, but if symptoms worsen or you notice shortness of breath or a fever that lasts more than four or five days, head to Centra Care. It’s possible for a secondary bacterial infection to develop, in which case a doctor can prescribe antibiotics.