Sooner or later all children will be infected with respiratory syncytial virus. The goal of prevention is to protect the youngest and most vulnerable infants. “We had the demonstration last year that we could prevent bronchiolitis since, with the use of masks, gel, confinement, the epidemic of bronchiolitis was almost non-existent in toddlers, while nurseries and kindergartens have remained open, says Professor Christèle Gras-Le Guen, pediatrician at the Nantes University Hospital (Loire-Atlantique). The drastic measures put in place against Covid have reduced the transmission of the bronchiolitis virus to nothing. “
A very contagious virus
The virus can affect anyone. Very contagious, it is transmitted by coughing, sneezing, hands. “We must protect infants, from birth and up to the age of 3 months,” says the pneumo-pediatrician Bertrand Delaisi., by systematically cleaning your hands with hydroalcoholic gel before touching them, by always putting on a mask if you have a cold when taking care of them, avoiding increasing contact between newborns and their brothers or sisters if they are sick. “
It is not possible to put on a mask systematically when taking care of your baby: he needs to see his parents, their smiles, their expressions. “To protect toddlers, we must also avoid large family reunions, walks in shopping malls, public transport,” adds Christèle Gras-Le Guen. It is also necessary to “ventilate the child’s living space on a daily basis, in particular the bedroom” and “avoid entering a community (nurseries, day nurseries, etc.) before 3 months”, recalled the Ministry of Health, Thursday, in a statement.
Adults can be infected with this virus but usually get away with a common cold, with few or no symptoms. Immunoglobulins exist to prevent bronchiolitis in babies at risk, very premature or suffering from serious pathologies. This very expensive preventive treatment consists of one injection per month, from birth to 6 months. This strategy has been shown to limit the risk of bronchiolitis and hospitalization.