Covid-19: barrier gestures “markedly” slow down seasonal flu

Hand washing, wearing a mask, keeping a distance … If the Covid-19 epidemic threatens to rebound in France, the flu has still not started, precisely thanks to the barrier gestures widely adopted to counter the new disease, according to Public health France. “The impact of the flu still seems to be significantly reduced compared to previous years thanks to the adoption of barrier gestures”, the health agency noted on Twitter on Wednesday, posting its weekly influenza surveillance bulletin.

Since the start of surveillance at the end of September / beginning of October, no “no active circulation of influenza viruses” in metropolitan France, according to this bulletin. In addition, over the same period, “no serious case of influenza has been reported by the services participating in this surveillance”, no admission to intensive care having been recorded for this reason. By comparison, last year, the flu sent 61 patients to intensive care between early November and late December, including nine in the last week of December, the one currently underway.

In recent months, health authorities have frequently recalled that generalized barrier measures to combat the new coronavirus (hand washing, physical distancing, mask, etc.) were also useful against other winter viruses. And not only the flu: at the beginning of December, Public Health France already noted that gastroenteritis and bronchiolitis were less numerous this year, with there also a real ebb in emergency room visits. “In the current context, physical distancing and barrier gestures are essential to limit the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic and other viruses“, underlines Public Health France in its influenza bulletin.

In mid-December, the health agency also indicated that influenza vaccination had jumped this year among people at risk. It must be said that the authorities have particularly encouraged the French to be vaccinated against the flu this year, in order to avoid a congestion of the emergency services already faced with the Covid-19 pandemic.


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