Bronchiolitis is a highly contagious viral infection of the smallest bronchial tubes, the bronchioles, which bring air to the very bottom of the lungs. It is observed in children under 2 years of age and especially in infants under 8 months. In more than 80% of cases, bronchiolitis is due to the respiratory syncytial virus, but it can also be secondary to another virus, or of bacterial origin.
Bronchiolitis begins as a simple nasopharyngitis, with a mild fever, runny nose, and dry cough. The infant then presents with rapid breathing interspersed with pauses, especially during meals. He is restless, drinks less and less, and pushes his bottles away. His bronchial tubes are clogged with secretions that he cannot evacuate. Sometimes wheezing can be heard. Most of the time, breathing difficulties disappear spontaneously within a few days.
Wang score is used to classify the severity of bronchiolitis in newborns. The scores obtained have the following meaning:
- Score from 0 to 3: bronchiolitis without severity criteria.
- Score of 4 to 7: bronchioloitis of moderate severity.
- Score of 8 to 12: severe bronchiolitis.