at least 46 “clusters” identified in France

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With the resumption of an “almost” normal life, the arrival of the heyday and the lull that the epidemic offers us, we might think that the virus has disappeared. In reality, it continues to circulate at low noise, as shown by a report from Public Health France published Thursday. According to this document, 46 “clusters” were detected in France between May 9 and May 19. Each of these outbreaks is defined as a set of at least three confirmed or probable cases within a period of 7 days, belonging to the same community or having participated in the same gathering. It is very likely that others have emerged since …

Most of these new outbreaks have been detected in social accommodation and integration establishments (a residence for young workers in Clamart, in the Hauts-de-Seine, and a home for foreign workers in Ulis, in Essonne, for example) but also in companies. Thus, no less than three slaughterhouses in Vendée, Loiret and Côtes-d’Armor each recorded several dozen cases. In the Tradival slaughterhouse near Orleans, 397 workers have been screened, 56 of whom have tested positive to date. In Val-de-Marne, nine workers who worked on a site tested positive for Covid-19.

Several outbreaks have also been identified in health establishments, places that are by definition highly exposed, such as Saumur and Lannion hospitals, which each accumulate dozens of cases among the staff. Cases have also been detected in communities of precarious people (travelers, migrants, homeless people). Institutions welcoming people with disabilities, as well as schools and universities are affected. The discovery of a case in a student at the Grandmont residence in Tours on May 17 led the mobile teams at Tours hospital to screen 183 students. So far, only five have tested positive.

“Reflection of the epidemic recession”

Another explosive focus, that of the military school of Saint-Maixent-l’Ecole, in Deux-Sèvres. The screening of all the people present on the site began on Monday, after the discovery of three positive cases among the trainers. A total of 1,800 samples will be taken in the coming days.

“In my opinion, the discovery of these clusters is a reflection of the epidemic recession, says Pr Antoine Flahault, professor of public health and epidemiology at the University of Geneva. Now, the small number of daily cases makes it possible to investigate and find contact cases, which was not achieved a few weeks ago, most probably because of the number of new cases too high. “

The reporting of these clusters is not an unexpected situation (…) it is also the consequence of the request for screening of any patient with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19

Public health France

The identification of these new sources of contamination does not seem to worry the health authorities too much, for the moment. “The reporting of these clusters is not an unexpected situation (…) it is also the consequence of the request for screening of any patient with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, of the search for contact subjects around these cases and their follow-up “, indicates Public Health France. Clearly, the more we search, the more we find. And this is good news.

Now, when a case is identified by a health professional, the people with whom it has been in contact are contacted within 24 hours by teams from Health Insurance and regional health agencies. These people are instructed to be in their fortnight and have access to a test and masks without medical prescription. The objective? Identify and break the transmission chains as quickly as possible.

A strategy which could, in theory, make it possible to control the epidemic, even if Public Health France does not exclude at this stage a return of the epidemic “starting next week”.

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