Flu : 2nd week of decline, except among young people under 15 years of age

Health 18 January, 2018


Published the 18.01.2018 to 10: 00
Update the 18.01.2018 at 12h28


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According to the latest epidemiological bulletin of the Sentinelles network for the second week of January, in metropolitan France, the incidence of influenza-like illness seen in consultation of general medicine dropped to 339 cases per 100 000 inhabitants, compared to 423 cases per 100 000 inhabitants the first week of January, 221, 000 new cases.
The Sentinelles network showing a decline in the epidemic over the last 2 weeks and suggests a reflux of the epidemic, while noting an increase in the incidence of influenza-like illness among young people under the age of 15 years for this first week of the school year. It will therefore have to remain vigilant and maintain measures of prevention for the weeks to come.

Some regions remain very affected

A respite would be welcome for emergencies overloaded, or even, frankly, overwhelmed, but the increase of cases among young people with the start of classes (2nd week of January) fears of the experts, a reversal of the epidemic. We should not cry victory too early, especially as the H1N1 virus is more severe in young people.
The frequency of influenza, remains strong in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur (608 cases per 100 000 inhabitants), Big East (421 cases per 100 000 inhabitants) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (399 cases per 100 000 inhabitants). The proportion of hospitalization increased slightly (up 0.4 % versus 0.2% in the previous week).

Prevalence of the virus HAS(H1N1) and youth

This epidemic 2017-2018 is still characterized by a clear predominance of the virus of type A(H1N1). To the extent that it is an epidemic that is in connection with a strain that is very little known of the immune system of young people, it affects them, more particularly : during the last week of December, 2017, 49 % of passages to the urgencies for influenza-like illness were under 15 years of age, and almost 20 % result in hospitalization. On the first week of January, 34 % of children under 5 years and 27 % of 15-44 year-olds go to the emergency room for influenza-like illness.

Maintenance necessary preventive measures

The Ministry of Health thus remains mobilized and the campaign of prevention remains relevant, especially in schools, to try to limit the spread of the flu. The directorate-general of Health (DGS) continues to call to adopt simple gestures, “gestures barriers” to limit the transmission of the disease. It is therefore essential that each person takes day-to-day actions of prevention, particularly in communities and in public transport where it is easily spread.

The actions of prevention of the spread of the virus

These “gestures barriers” are recalled by TV spots and radio emergency developed with public Health France in the event of a flu epidemic of great magnitude. The Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) has been entered so that these messages of health prevention should be disseminated as widely as possible, according to the mechanism foreseen by the broadcasting law of 30th September 1986. There are 7 gestures barriers to adopt to protect themselves against viruses of winter :
• Procedure 1 : wash hands
• Gesture 2 : cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
• Gesture 3 : to blow nose into a tissue, single-use
• Gesture 4 : avoid touching the face, especially the nose and the mouth
And when it is reached by the virus of the winter :
• Gesture 5 : to limit the outings, contact the doctor if needed
• Gesture 6 : to limit the direct contacts and indirect (via objects)
• Gesture 7 : wear a mask (especially when one is in contact with frail people)