Seasonal flu well established in mainland France

While attention is focused this winter on the new coronavirus from China, the seasonal flu epidemic continues in mainland France where it has now caused 34 deaths among the more than 400 serious cases identified in intensive care.

The health agency Public Health France notes, in its inventory published Wednesday, “a moderate increase in indicators of influenza activity” (consultations, emergency visits …) last week as well as a “slight progression” vaccination among people at risk compared to last winter.

Vaccination coverage in mainland France, according to social security reimbursements at the end of December, increased from 46.5% to 47.2% (+0.7 points) for all subjects at risk (certain diseases, including heart or respiratory failure, massive obesity, asthma, chronic bronchitis called COPD; but also pregnant women).

Since November 4, 2019, 408 serious cases of influenza admitted to intensive care in mainland France have been reported, including 59 last week.

The majority (71%) of all these patients had risk factors for complications, and almost as many (70%) were not vaccinated among those (247) for whom this information could be obtained. A total of 34 dead (including 6 children under the age of 15) were resuscitated.

In addition, serious cases also admitted to intensive care have been reported in Martinique (5 including 3 deaths) and Guadeloupe (5 including 2 deaths).

The flu which affects all regions of metropolitan France generated a rate of consultations “in moderate increase” (+ 13%) last week compared to the previous week (324 / 100,000 inhabitants against 287 / 100.00), according to the network Sentinel surveillance.

The number of emergency visits for influenza or influenza-like illness reported by the surveillance network Oscour is up compared to the previous week (9,010 against 8,888) while the number of hospitalizations (818) is stable.

These passages mainly concern children aged 0 to 14 (61%) and more particularly young children under the age of 5 (36%).

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Among hospitalizations for influenza, the most represented are children under 5 years of age (31%) and people aged 75 and over (22%).

The share of hospitalizations for influenza or influenza-like illness among all hospitalizations is slightly increasing compared to the previous week (14.1 / 1,000 compared to 13.7 / 1,000)

In Guyana, the flu epidemic begins.

In addition, the bronchiolitis epidemic is regressing in mainland France, but continues in Mayotte, according to the health agency.

For “gastro”, the Sentinelles-Inserm network notes an activity “decreasing for the fourth consecutive week”. Last week, the most affected regions were Provence-Alpes-Côte d´Azur (226 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), Hauts-de-France (218) and Nouvelle-Aquitaine (181).

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