Doctors witness patients developing bronchiolitis symptoms before the flu season
Bengaluru: Hospitals in the city have been witnessing a large number of bronchiolitis cases this year due to pollution, change in weather conditions, post viral infections especially influenza and relaxed Covid-19 restrictions.
Dr. Vasunethra Kasargod, Consultant Pulmonologist at Vikram Hospital and Manipal Hospital said that on an average, he is witnessing 4-5 cases every day. The most common symptoms of the disease are cough, a whistling sound from the chest and breathlessness. The condition can result in high fever as well. “If the cause is rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms stays for months and years,” he added.
Dr. Kasargod explained that bronchiolitis has similar symptoms to Covid but should not be confused with it. “Bronchiolitis is a viral infection that causes the airways (bronchioles) in the lungs to become narrow, which makes breathing difficult. Typically, the peak time for bronchiolitis is during the winter months,” he added.
A 24-year-old patient, Nigesh, was rushed to hospital a month ago, after complaining of breathing difficulties, high fever and continuous cough.“I suffered from Bronchiolitis a month before. I was suffering with the disease for the first time and was not able to sleep and eat because of shortness of breath. Walking for five minutes became so difficult because of my depleting oxygen levels. I suffered for one week with really bad fever. During the morning, I was rushed to hospital and after the tests, doctors found out my blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen were down. First they thought it was Covid but then they came to know its bronchiolitis. Thereafter on medication for long until I recovered.”
Pediatricians in the city also said that they are seeing many cases of children with bronchiolitis in the last few weeks. Most of them are less than a year old.
Dr. G. Krishnakanth, Consultant Pediatrician said that in the last one week he has seen 15-20 bronchiolitis cases in children between the ages of one month and one year. There has been a 20 percent increase in cases this year. Most children develop symptoms like runny rose, chest tightness, most of them will not feed, shortness of breath, cough, fever and at times of depleting oxygen their hands and feet’s get blueish.”
Doctors stated that allergic bronchiolitis is common in Bengaluru and can be prevented by maintaining regular hygiene, taking flu vaccine every year, through early medical attention and discontinuing any smoking habits. They also suggest that individuals should be cautious as the peak flu season is yet to come in the month of January and February.