Acute Bronchitis is one of the rare childhood illnesses and can be quite serious if left untreated. Acute Bronchitis is a chronic inflammation of the air passages in the lungs or the Bronchial Tree. The windpipe (trachea) and the small airways (bronchi) become infected and swollen and breathing becomes difficult. When you breathe in tiny particles and germs attach to the mucus membrane and get into the airways and lungs. Acute Bronchitis is caused by a viral infection and can be have quite a fast onset, be persistent and have continued episodes, although it is not life-threatening. Chronic Bronchitis lasts longer and can be more severe lasting anywhere from months to years in extreme cases. The bronchial tubes become infected and this causes irritation and an over production of mucus. The most common cause of acute bronchitis in the chronic form is smoking and some complications with Acute Bronchitis can lead to Pneumonia.
Signs and Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis
- Dry cough
- Slight fever (approx. 38oC)
- Mild chest discomfort
- Wheezing and uncomfortable respirations.
Incubation Period of Acute Bronchitis
There is no Incubation Period associated with Acute Bronchitis.
Treatment for Acute Bronchitis
Contact your childs GP for a check up if you suspect acute bronchitis. The doctor will examine your chest and listen for signs of wheezing. Chest x-rays may be nescessary in the diagnosis of acute bronchitis, but this is usually to be sure that it is not asthma or pneumonia. Acute bronchitis can be treated easily with antibiotics if the infection is bacterial, but antibiotics will not treat a viral infection. Drink plenty of fluids and try to cough naturally to loosen the phlegm as this will help clear the chest and ease breathing problems. It is advisable that young children are seen as early as possible with acute bronchial problems. The welfare of your child is paramount and even the slightest of breathing problems should be seen to by a medical professional at the earliest possibility.