Flu epidemic hits every region in France

The Local France
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Flu epidemic hits every region in France
Photo: AFP

France may be regularly called the ‘sick man of Europe’ by political opponents from abroad, but on this occasion the accusation may be true, at least in the most literal sense.


The flu virus has reached every corner of metropolitan France and Corsica, with more than 8,500 visits to the ER recorded in just the last week.

A map released by the country’s public health system reveals how on Wednesday January 30 the whole of metropolitan France and the island of Corsica have been classified at “epidemic” level for the flu virus.

Source: France Santé Publique

For the past week, Normandy was the only region in the country to not have reached epidemic levels. 

Even the overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Mayotte and Martinique have been marked as being at the pre-epidemic stages, meaning the only French departments marked as green and free from the flu virus are French Guayana and Réunion.

For flu levels to be classified as epidemic, there have to be 350 cases for every 100,000 people. 

Over the last week, 8,565 people with flu-like symptoms have visited French hospital emergency rooms, of which 1,054 were hospitalized.

Most of these admissions concerned children under the age of 5 (32 percent) and 5 to 14 year olds (23 percent).

Flu-like symptoms also accounted for 18 percent of emergency doctors' consultations in the past seven days.

Source: Sentinelles

The usual symptoms of la grippe as it’s called in French are a feverishness and chills, a cough, sore throat, headache, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and more often in children vomiting and diarrhea.

However the flu can have life-threatening complications among the elderly and people with preexisting conditions.

Since the start of November of 2018, 422 serious cases of influenza have been reported, including 92 in the past week week. Thirty-three of these resulted in death.




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