Influenza, the epidemic has settled in France, but you can still get vaccinated

Health 30 December, 2017

Published the 28.12.2017 at 15h17
Update the 28.12.2017 to 18h51


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In the last newsletter epidemiological networks Sentinel, the “epidemic threshold” is exceeded in the whole of France, outside of Corsica which is in the pre-epidemic.
Influenza activity is a significant increase compared to previous weeks and the number of sick-the flu is now in excess of 510 patients per 100 000 inhabitants in the region the most affected : Ile-de-France. With 495 cases per 100 000 inhabitants, the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’azur ranks second, just ahead of Brittany (432 cases).
The median age of the patients was 26 years of age but children under 15 years of age are the most affected. They represent 56% of the passages for influenza-like illness in a hospital environment according to Public Health France. The clinical pictures reported by Sentinel physicians showed no particular sign of severity : the percentage of hospitalization for influenza was estimated at 0.1% and they mainly affect the elderly (33% were 75 years or older), as well as children under 5 years of age (22%)

A virus of type H1N1 in metropolis

There are 3 influenza viruses circulating in the metropolis : the influenza A H1N1 virus (21.3 per cent), influenza A (H3N2) (4.4%) and influenza B (8,1%), but this situation may change.
The distribution is therefore different from that of last year, where it was the H3N2 that had been responsible for the epidemic : a virus that had led to many complications in the elderly and impaired.
The epidemic of 2016-2017 has been the origin of more than 1,500 hospitalizations in intensive care and nearly 14 400 deaths, mainly in people at risk who were not vaccinated.

Vaccination remains possible until 31 January

The national campaign of vaccination against seasonal influenza, which began on 6 October, will close on 31 January. As the peak of the epidemic should not be reached before 2 weeks. The Directorate-general of health, health Insurance, and public Health France, remind us that vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself against the flu and limit the complications.
The vaccine contains two type virus Was found in samples virological sick today, but also that of type B. therefore, It is not too late to get vaccinated, because the protection becomes effective in just two weeks.

What are the complications of the flu ?

In adults and young children in good health, the flu is just annoying, but fatigue and a dry cough may often persist for three or four weeks. In vulnerable people (elderly, immunocompromised, pregnant women…) or having a chronic disease (diabetes, heart failure, respiratory or renal…), the flu is less well supported with life-threatening complications : bacterial lung infection is serious (or ” pneumonia “), or decompensation, or worsening of the underlying chronic disease (diabetes, respiratory failure, cardiac or renal disease, cystic fibrosis, etc.).
Infants, particularly those under the age of six months are at the highest risk. Like they can’t still benefit from the vaccine, they should be protected by their loved ones thanks to “gestures barrier” : segregation at home during the epidemic, and hand are washed and vaccination of the family.

It is possible to protect yourself

During infection, the influenza virus will infect the patient by the respiratory route. Inhaled with the air infected, the virus will be deposited on the cells lining the surface of the respiratory tract : the throat and the bronchi. It will then penetrate and divert the means of production of the cell to his advantage and start to multiply. The release of the virus manufactured in this way leads to the destruction of the cell.

Public health France is therefore recommended to wash hands frequently with soap and water or with a solution of hydro-alcoholic, wear a mask when one has a syndrome (influenza-like illness (limiting the spread of the virus when you cough and sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue if coughing and sneezing, using tissues, in single-use paper and throw it away and limiting contact with sick people.