Your baby 0-1 year

Viruses or bacteria, who are the culprits?

Viruses or bacteria, who are the culprits?


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Colds, bronchiolitis, flu, gastroenteritis ... all these diseases are caused by viruses. But why does your doctor sometimes talk about bacterial superinfection? Point.

  • The diseases that punctuate the winter of your child - from cold to bronchiolitis, flu or gastroenteritis - have one thing in common. Do you know it ? It holds in five letters: V.I.R.U.S. Indeed, the vast majority of winter diseases are caused by all kinds of viruses that circulate this season because they prefer cold to warm.
  • But then, why your doctor does he ever talk to you about bacterial superinfection? Because a disease that was initially viral can get complicated, it's even quite common. The mechanism is simple: a virus is introduced into your toddler's airways and causes inflammation of the mucous membranes; if a bacterium passes by at this moment, it settles very easily in these mucous membranes already weakened and not able to defend itself. It is not for nothing that a saying, well known in medicine, says that inflammation is the bed of infection!

Small geography of diseases

  • Contrary to what one might think, there is not really a specific virus for each disease. The same virus can give different diseases to two children: it all depends on where it will go to lodge, in the nasal cavity, on the vegetations, the tonsils or the bronchi. In fact, all these areas are geographically very close, we can even say that it is a single mucosa from the anterior part of the nasal cavity to the terminal bronchi. That's why your toddler can move easily from one pathology to another, chaining a rhino and otitis!

Isabelle Gravillon