In its latest epidemic bulletin, Public Health France is concerned about a “sharp increase in hospitalizations” and is evoking the “urge” of the public at risk to be vaccinated.
The influenza epidemic intensifies in France. In its latest epidemic bulletin, which concerns the week of December 5 to 11, Public Health France calls out “the continuation of the increase in influenza indicators in all age groups”. Even more worryingly, the organization notes a “sharp increase in admissions”.
A finding that justifies the passage of all metropolitan regions in the epidemic phase. The previous week, Occitanie, New Aquitaine and Pays de la Loire were still in the pre-epidemic stage.
57 people admitted to intensive care
In more detail, the number of emergency room visits for flu-like illness increased by 93% in one week and increased in seven days from 3,408 to 6,569 visits. The increase is even greater for admissions after being in the emergency room, which have increased by 117%.
Since the start of the surveillance of the influenza epidemic for the season 2022-2023 last October, 57 serious cases of influenza have been hospitalized in intensive care. And as for consultations in urban medicine, they are now estimated at 265 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The influenza epidemic was officially declared in France by the health authorities on November 30, and first affected Brittany and Normandy. It arrived early and added to two virulent epidemics already underway: Covid-19 and bronchiolitis, which affects very young children.
It is “urgent” to be vaccinated
Since the start of the flu season this year, three deaths have been reported, Public Health France emphasizes in its bulletin this Wednesday, “all in patients aged 65 or over”. Of the severe cases observed in the intensive care unit, five were before between 0 and 4 years, two between 5 and 14 years, 21 between 15 and 64 years and 29 between 65 and over.
Public Health France stressed that “it is urgent to be vaccinated against influenza for people in the risk group”. Since the start of the vaccination campaign, the number of volunteers has increased.
Public Health France also reports “clustered cases of acute respiratory infection”, including 19 attributed to influenza, in the approximately 25,500 medical-social institutions that fit the national territory.
On a European scale, the development of influenza activity is increasing among the 39 countries participating in influenza surveillance. From the start of the flu season, health authorities in the northern hemisphere warned of a major flu season, based on what was observed this summer in Australia, where the flu season comes during the summer.