Seasonal flu: the epidemic returns

We can almost forget that, because Covid-19 is the virus at the heart of the population’s fears. But seasonal flu is here, again, and the situation could become worrisome because health services are already under pressure from the fifth wave. In its weekly bulletin on December 22, Saint-Public France reports that the Occitanie region has entered the phase of an influenza epidemic. All epidemiological indicators are on the rise, especially among children under fifteen who are particularly affected. Thus, the incidence of influenza syndromes (seen in a general medicine consultation) in one week increased from 104 to 147 per 100,000 population. For comparison, the Covid-19 infection rate stabilized for the same period from 586 to 588.

‘More severe influenza epidemic feared’

If Covid-19 outpaced the flu last year, this year it won’t be the case according to ARS Occitanie. “The context of the epidemic associated with Covid-19, the application of barrier gestures (including wearing a mask), the measures taken (confinement) and increased vaccination coverage among people at risk made it possible to limit the spread of influenza viruses last year, but there are fears of the spread of The influenza epidemic will be more severe this winter, due to the loss of immunity to influenza in a population that has not been exposed to the virus in the past year. The influenza virus, especially in vulnerable people.”

So these vulnerable people have been invited to get vaccinated since October 26th. “It’s never too late to get vaccinated against the flu. It’s enough for those people at risk to bring a coupon sent by the health insurance and go to a pharmacy or to the attending physician,” recalls David Billetorte, ARS delegate. for Tarn-et-Garonne.

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According to the recommendations of the Supreme Health Authority, vaccination against Covid-19 has no effect on influenza. To facilitate the care of the people involved, it is even possible to have both at the same time. At the Covid-19 vaccination centre, you must present yourself automatically on the day of the appointment, having the influenza vaccine previously withdrawn from the pharmacy.

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