RSV can cause upper respiratory infections (such as colds) and lower respiratory tract infections (such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia). In children younger than 1 year of age, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lung, and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. Almost all children will have had an RSV infection by their second birthday.
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs. Many germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia. You can also get pneumonia by inhaling a liquid or chemical. People most at risk are older than 65 or younger than 2 years of age, or already have health problems.
Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing. Asthma can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack. You must also remove the triggers in your environment that can make your asthma worse.
Status asthmaticus is an acute exacerbation of asthma that remains unresponsive to initial treatment with bronchodilators. Status asthmaticus can vary from a mild form to a severe form with bronchospasm, airway inflammation, and mucus plugging that can cause difficulty breathing, carbon dioxide retention, hypoxemia, and respiratory failure.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease of the mucus and sweat glands. It affects mostly your lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses and sex organs. CF causes your mucus to be thick and sticky. The mucus clogs the lungs, causing breathing problems and making it easy for bacteria to grow. This can lead to problems such as repeated lung infections and lung damage. The symptoms and severity of CF vary widely. Some people have serious problems from birth. Others have a milder version of the disease that doesn't show up until they are teens or young adults.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than one year old. Some people call SIDS "crib death" because many babies who die of SIDS are found in their cribs. SIDS is the leading cause of death in children between one month and one year old. Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between two months and four months old. Premature babies, boys, African Americans, and American Indian/Alaska Native infants have a higher risk of SIDS.
Ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their child to a doctor. Three out of four children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. Adults can also get ear infections, but they are less common.
Foreign body aspiration can be a life-threatening emergency. An aspirated solid or semisolid object may lodge in the larynx or trachea. If the object is large enough to cause nearly complete obstruction of the airway, asphyxia may rapidly cause death. Lesser degrees of obstruction or passage of the obstructive object beyond the carina can result in less severe signs and symptoms.
Epiglottitis is inflammation of the epiglottis. This is the tissue that covers the trachea (windpipe). Epiglottitis is a life-threatening disease. Epiglottitis is now very uncommon because the H. influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine is a routine childhood immunization. The disease was once most often seen in children ages 2 through 6. In rare cases, epiglottitis can occur in adults.