Influenza outbreak: 80% increase in emergency room ... overflowing

The epidemic of winter flu remains moderate for the number of patients affected, but is remarkable for its great brutality of installation. At the time of the doctors' holidays, this speed of installation is telescope, in the child, with the other epidemics, the urgencies are overflowed.

According to the latest weekly newsletter of the influenza surveillance network, the Sentinel network, for the week of 25 to 31/12/17, the flu epidemic continues in mainland France, Corsica remained in pre-epidemic situation.

Not at the peak yet

In metropolitan France last week, the incidence rate of influenza-like illnesses seen in general medical consultation was estimated at 527 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, or 343,000 new cases for the week. During these 3 weeks of influenza epidemic, 704 000 people would have consulted a general practitioner for this reason.
At the regional level, the highest incidence rates were observed in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (778 cases per 100 000 inhabitants), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (683 cases) and Normandy (593 cases). Almost all metropolitan areas have a strong activity, except Corsica. The average age is 30 and the disease affects men as well as women. The virus most often encountered is the A (H1N1) virus that is included in the vaccine of the year, followed by A (H3N2).

An epidemic without major danger

The number of people seeing a general practitioner for influenza increased from 355,000 to 704,000 last week. An epidemic within the limits of the usual therefore, but the peak of the flu is not reached and the frequency of consultations in medicine should continue to increase in the coming weeks.
What is rather unusual this year is the very rapid increase in the number of emergency room visits over the past 3 weeks: in the week of December 25 to 31, Santé Publique France recorded nearly 11,500 emergency room visits for influenza or ILI, an increase of more than 80% compared to the previous week. No excess mortality

No over-mortality

Public Health France reports 31 deaths since 1 November, mainly among the serious cases of influenza admitted to intensive care.
The percentage of hospitalization remains low (0.2%).
In this regard, the agency reminds that there is still time to get vaccinated. Even if the protection of the vaccine does not play 100%, we know that the majority of the most serious patients, who are in intensive care, are patients who are not vaccinated.

Other concomitant epidemics

The outbreak of gastroenteritis has also increased in the territory compared to the previous week. Seven regions are now in the epidemic phase (Hauts-de-France, Grand Est, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Occitania, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and Corsica), six in the pre-epidemic phase, and only one remains spared (Pays de la Loire).
The bronchiolitis epidemic affecting children under two is also progressing: it caused 4,600 emergency room visits and 715 SOS Médecins visits (respectively 6 and 11% more than the previous week). All the regions are in the "epidemic phase", with the exception of Île-de-France, which has emerged after being affected earlier than the other regions.

When to consult a doctor ?

At the onset of these symptoms, it is not necessary to rush to the hospital or the doctor. Promote a consultation with the doctor if it is an infant, if you are pregnant or are over 65, or in case of chronic illness (diabetes, heart failure, respiratory or kidney ...)
It should also be consulted if there is a sudden aggravation and no improvement after 72 hours.

When to go to emergencies?

On the other hand, it is necessary to go directly to the emergency department if the flu seems very aggressive with a high fever at more than 40 ° C or poorly supported, and in case of unusual signs: shortness of breath at rest or difficulty to breathe, productive cough with sputum d purulent appearance, tightness in the chest, significant difficulty moving, very stiff neck, feeling of confusion, convulsions.

Even if you do not go to the emergency room "for nothing", the flu is obviously not an illness to be taken lightly.

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