Bronchiolitis Advice

Cork Emergency Departments

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What is it?

Bronchiolitis is a common chest infection, especially affecting infants <12 months age. It is caused by a viral infection in the lungs. It causes swelling and mucous build up in the small airways of the lungs, making it difficult for your baby to breathe and feed.


It begins as a cold: sneezing, runny or blocked nose and cough. Here are some other things you look for:

  • Fast breathing
  • Noisy or wheezy breathing
  • Reduced feeding
  • Tummy and chest sucking in
  • Irritability
  • Fever

Symptoms are worst on day 3-5 of the illness and may last up to 10 days. Coughing can continue up to 4 weeks.

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Bronchiolitis is diagnosed by the symptoms and examination. Blood tests, chest x‐rays and nose swabs are not usually needed.


Care at home

Special precautions

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Red flags: Seek urgent medical attention if:

If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended:

Mercy Injury Unit, Gurranabraher (021)4926900

LIU Mallow(022)58506

LIU Bantry(027)52900

Content by Content by Dr Emma Fateux , PEM Consultant at CUH, 13/04/2022. Last reviewed Dr IOS 9/05/24.