The influenza epidemic, which affects all metropolitan France, continues to decline for the second week in a row, except for young people under 15 years. Public Health France seems to estimate that the peak of the epidemic is behind us, but some regions remain under tension. The proportion of hospitalizations after emergencies increases.
According to the latest epidemiological bulletin sentinelles network that concerns the second week of January, in France, the frequency of influenza syndromes seen in general medical consultation has dropped to 339 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, against 423 cases per 100,000 inhabitants the first week of January, 221,000 new cases.
The Sentinelles network notes a decrease of the epidemic over the last 2 weeks and evokes an ebb of the epidemic, while noting an increase in the incidence of influenza syndromes among young people under 15 for this first week of the new year school. We must therefore remain vigilant and maintain preventive measures for the coming weeks.
Some regions remain very affected
A respite would be welcome for overcrowded emergencies, even frankly overloaded, but the increase of cases among young people with the back to school (2nd week of January) is fearing the experts a resumption of the epidemic. We must not cry victory too early, especially as the H1N1 virus is more severe among young people.
The incidence of influenza remains high in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (608 cases per 100 000 inhabitants), Grand-Est (421 cases per 100 000 inhabitants) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (399 cases per 100 000 inhabitants) . The share of hospitalization increased slightly (0.4% versus 0.2% the previous week).
Prevalence of A (H1N1) virus and young people
This 2017-2018 epidemic is still characterized by a clear predominance of type A (H1N1) virus. Insofar as it is an epidemic related to a very little known strain of the immune system of young people, it affects them more particularly: in the last week of December 2017, 49% of the visits to the influenza-like emergencies concerned under 15 years, and almost 20% led to hospitalization. In the first week of January, 34% of under-5s and 27% of 15-44 year-olds go to the emergency room for flu-like illness.
Necessary maintenance of preventive measures
The Ministry of Health remains mobilized and the prevention campaign remains relevant, especially in schools, to try to limit the spread of influenza. The General Directorate of Health (DGS) continues to call for simple actions, the "gestures barriers" to limit the transmission of the disease. It is therefore essential that everyone adopts everyday preventive actions, especially in communities and public transport where it is easily transmitted.
Actions to prevent the spread of the virus
These "barrier gestures" are recalled by TV spots and emergency radio developed with Public Health France in the event of a large-scale influenza epidemic. The Superior council of audio-visual (CSA) was seized so that these messages of prevention health are diffused as much as possible, according to the device envisaged by the audiovisual law of September 30, 1986. There are 7 gestures barriers to adopt to protect themselves against the viruses of winter:
• Gesture 1: Wash your hands
• Gesture 2: Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
• Gesture 3: Blow your nose in a disposable tissue
• Gesture 4: avoid touching your face, especially the nose and mouth
And when we are infected with winter viruses:
• Gesture 5: limit exits, contact the doctor if necessary
• Gesture 6: Limit direct and indirect contacts (via objects)
• Gesture 7: wear a mask (especially when in contact with fragile people)