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4 things parents should know about bronchiolitis

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Loving the warm weather but not so much the pollen? You're not alone. Doctors say if the flu doesn't get to you, allergies will. Unfortunately, that’s not all. This week, doctors have seen a series of flu, allergies, colds and bronchiolitis.

In Duval County, we checked in with Dr. Randolph Thornton at Jacksonville Pediatrics on Park Street. While there's still a significant increase in flu activity, there's also been an increase in bronchiolitis, according to Dr. Thornton. It sounds similar to bronchitis but it isn't.

Bronchitis is more common in older children and adults. Bronchiolitis mainly affects young children deeper down in the chest and in the small airways.

“Children- particularly those under a year old, they cough and they wheeze. They get a high-pitched wheeze and the most common germ is a nasty virus called RSV- Respiratory Sensational Virus,” said Dr. Thornton.

It's common in the winter time and can last up to two or three weeks.

“The worst is the first four to five days. You can cough and be congested for up to two or three weeks with it so it's frustrating,” said Dr. Thornton. 

There are the warning signs to know when it’s time to visit a doctor.

“When children get bronchiolitis, they're breathing much faster, they're coughing and they get a wheeze. They get into big distress and they're breathing harder and heavier because they're having difficulty breathing,” said Dr. Thornton. 

Another big indicator is a loss in appetite.

“The most common thing is they stop eating. They're working so hard to breathe, they don't eat or feed very well,” said Dr. Thornton. He suggests using a humidifier to help ease their symptoms. Keeping their head elevated at night can also help with draining mucus and prevent buildup in the back of their throat.

In Clay County, the CareSpot says patients with high fevers, congestion and body aches continue to pack their office and flu is to blame. Allergies are causing complications like coughing, inflammation to the eyes and sneezing.

In Nassau County at the Yulee CareSpot, flu continues to make waves. Nurses report that since their office is out of test kits, more patients are turning to the E.R to get a swab test for the flu. 

Strep throat and allergies are making their rounds as well.

At the Healing Arts Urgent Care in St. Augustine, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, and the flu have all been reported.