Two winters had passed since the winter epidemics of bronchiolitis and influenza due to Covid-19 had been atypical and less intense than usual. At the start of winter 2022, on the other hand, the scenario is completely different: the indicators used by the health authorities to monitor these two diseases have increased with haste and virulence, raising concerns about the ninth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19.
The number of cases twice the average
In 2022, the bronchiolitis epidemic started early, with 2,886 diagnoses for 10,000 emergency room visits in the week of November 21. On average, the curve for cases of bronchiolitis over the last ten years reached its peak between the end of December and the beginning of January. This year, the respiratory disease affecting children under 2 is already reaching higher levels than the episodes from the last eleven years. Because in addition to being early, the epidemic is virulent: According to the latest data, the number of cases per 10,000 consultations almost double the average. In the Epidemic Surveillance Bulletin of 30 November, the organization Public Health France specifies that hospitalizations for bronchiolitis represent half of the hospitalizations of children under 2 years of age, which puts pressure on the pediatric services.
Two epidemic waves of influenza in 2022
During the winter of 2021-2022, influenza arrived late and did not reach its epidemic peak until March. But it came back at the end of the year several weeks ahead of the average for the past eleven years. Since the influenza epidemic generates proportionally fewer visits to the emergency room than bronchiolitis, we use data from SOS-Médecins to characterize the epidemic. Like March, the data for the week of November 21 shows four consecutive weeks of increased consultations, with a rate four times higher than average and an epidemic setting in early.