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Local hospitals trust urges patients to trust their instinct and be aware of the signs of severe respiratory viruses in children

Posted: 07 February 2022

Picture of Dr Shruti Jawahar Ganatra

West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) are advising parents and carers to look out for the signs of a virus known as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which is commonly found in young children.

Bronchiolitis can cause respiratory viruses which is common in children during the autumn and winter months. Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious but the virus can, in a small number of cases, become severe in young children under two years old as their airways aren’t well developed.

WHHT is calling the public to ‘trust their instinct’ and advising parents to be vigilant if their child contracts respiratory viruses.

Around one in three children develop bronchiolitis during their first year. Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within two to three weeks, but parents should contact their GP or call NHS 111 if:

Some children under two, especially those born prematurely or with a heart condition, can suffer more serious consequences from these common respiratory infections.

Dr Shruti Jawahar Ganatra, consultant paediatrician at WHHT, said: “We want to make sure the public are aware of the symptoms and complications of respiratory viruses leading to bronchiolitis. It can become serious in young children so, if something is not right, please trust your instinct and seek medical attention.”

Parents and carers should be aware that most cases of bronchiolitis clear up on their own, but they are also encouraged to spot the signs of severe infection, when to get help and to trust their instinct if they have concerns.

Watch Dr Ganatra's video about bronchiolitis in children - the symptoms, warning signs and when to seek medical help.

  1. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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