Influenza : 3rd week of decline, the peak of the epidemic is past

Health 26 January, 2018


Published the 26.01.2018 at 0735 hrs


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According to the latest epidemiological bulletin of the Sentinelles network for the third week of January, in metropolitan France, the incidence of influenza-like illness seen in consultation of general medicine is still dropped to 271 cases per 100 000 inhabitants, compared to 339 cases per 100 000 inhabitants the second week of January, 178 000 new cases.
The Sentinelles network showing a decline in the epidemic over the past 3 weeks, and evokes a reflux of the epidemic. There has been no increase in the incidence of influenza-like illness among young people under 15 years of age with back-to-school. The preventive measures have apparently been effective.

Some regions remain very affected

All metropolitan areas are still in the epidemic phase, but regression sets in, the difference of the Antilles and Guyana, where there has been an increase of influenza activity.
The frequency of influenza remains high in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (449 cases per 100 000 inhabitants), Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (352 cases per 100 000 inhabitants) and Big East (338 cases per 100 000 inhabitants). The proportion of hospitalization increased slightly (0.6 percent versus 0.4 percent 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 in particular : the average age of the patients is now 27 years old and the passages to the hospital relate to a priority less than 5 years (34%).
There is a decrease in the number of hospitalizations in the icu for 2 weeks. The average age of cases in icu was 58 years and 78% of them had associated risk factors. An excess mortality is observed since the week 50 all causes and all ages combined.

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)