Bronchiolitis epidemic: “It is better to stay away from babies”

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Bronchiolitis epidemic: “It is better to stay away from babies”

In view of the strong increase in cases of bronchiolitis in young children, specialized doctors are calling for the chains of infections to be broken quickly. Pediatric services are overwhelmed.

Health Minister Paulette Lenert confirmed earlier this week that the situation was very tense in hospitals due to the bronchiolitis epidemic affecting Luxembourg. On Monday, all the beds were occupied in the national specialized pediatric service as well as in the intensive care unit of the Kannerklinik of the Luxembourg hospital center (CHL). The 48 beds were occupied by small patients in normal care and pediatric intensive care, including 31 for the treatment of bronchiolitis and 3 due to covid. As for the Robert-Schuman hospitals (HRS), five young patients with bronchiolitis were hospitalized.

On Friday, the Luxembourg Pediatric Society took stock of a situation that continues to cause serious concern. From now on, the Kannerklinik of the CHL, which welcomes all the little patients concerned, is full with 58 patients, including 37 who suffer from bronchiolitis, caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV). Eight little patients are in intensive care. In view of a capacity that is reaching its limits, two children requiring intensive care have already had to be transferred abroad.

Pediatricians are sounding the alarm. It would be urgent to break the chains of infections by isolating children under 2 years of age as well as possible. “The RSV virus is transmitted in the same way as covid. It is therefore recommended to adopt the same barrier gestures”, underlines Dr Serge Allard, president of the Luxembourg Society of Pediatrics. (read opposite). With Dr. Isabel De La Fuente, he goes one step further by saying that “it is better to stay away from babies”. They are aimed at people outside the household. However, advice is also given to parents, who are above all invited not to panic.

Special attention at least 2 years old

As a reminder:urant and highly contagious, bronchiolitis causes babies to cough and have difficult, rapid, wheezing breathing. If it is distressing for young parents, it is most of the time benign. Older children, especially those over 5 years old, are less at risk, even if they have a high fever. Consulting a pediatrician is not necessarily necessary:The older the child, the less worrying the feversums up Dr. De La Fuente. It is recommended to resort to common drugs such as paracetamol.

Special attention should be paid to babies under 2 years old. Even in the event of a simple cold, parents are advised to seek information from a pediatrician. If the child suffers from rapid breathing, does not know how to drink or smile and is constantly tired, even apathetic, it is imperative to go to the emergency room of the Kannerklinik.

For four weeks, the number of hospitalizations has continued to increase. The outbreak of bronchiolitis is earlier and more severe than in previous years. To cope with the influx of small patients, all non-emergency pediatric procedures at the CHL have been postponed or cancelled. This frees up additional capacities, including among the nursing staff, who are still very tired by the covid pandemic.

CHL management has set up a specific crisis unit. She is responsible for closely monitoring the evolution of the sharp increase in cases of bronchiolitis.

Barrier gestures
which are to be respected

MASK During any visit to a household with children under the age of 2, it is strongly recommended to wear a protective mask. Hand washing is also essential.

VENTILATION The rooms used by the children concerned must be ventilated regularly.

VISITS Visitors are asked to avoid any close contact with the child, and more particularly with young babies (no kisses, etc.). More generally, pediatricians invite to limit family reunions in the coming weeks in order to minimize cases of bronchiolitis. It is also not recommended to visit other households with children under 2 years old.

CRÈCHES As far as possible, parents are asked not to send their young children to crèches.

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