In Vienne, the triple epidemic is creating a complex situation.

There was Covid-19. The flu has been coming full force for a few weeks already. to this is added the bronchiolitis virus which spreads among the little ones. The situation is unknown and the tension is maximum.

Right now, a person who doesn’t cough, speak with their nose or clear their throat is an endangered species. While some viruses have limited health risks, others can have far from trivial consequences.

We take stock with Professor France Cazenave-Roblot, head of the infectious diseases department at the Poitiers University Hospital.

How to explain this phenomenon of triple epidemic?

France Cazenave-Roblot. We see very clearly that it is the removal of the mask that generates this phenomenon. For bronchiolitis in particular, the children probably had an immune debt [dfaut de stimulation du systme immunitaire en l’absence d’agents pathognes] because confined and hidden for successive months. Confronted with the various ambient viruses, they are much less immune.

Beyond the flu, Covid and bronchiolitis, what is this ambient virus that hangs around everywhere?

It is a rhinovirus, resulting from RSV (respiratory syncitial virus), the respiratory infection of viral origin which gives bronchiolitis. Basically, flu or Covid in adults can cause bronchiolitis in children. Bronchiolitis can infect adults with respiratory damage. Everyone gets infected…

What are the symptoms of this rhinovirus?

Very classic: obstruction of the respiratory tract, runny nose, cough, sore throat…

Are there any consequences for hospitalizations?

We have d open beds at the Poitiers University Hospital in recent days because we have both hospitalizations due to Covid, but also flu which is not trivial, let’s not forget that. to this, we add superinfections of the flu, such as pneumonia. The situation becomes tense.

Is it unusual?

Clearly. Because this accumulation of virus had not happened for years and because it happens in a context of hospital tension. I remind you that the closing of beds is not a problem of beds in itself, it is a problem of staff shortages. The beds, asked for a team to turn them.

are you worried about this situation?

We will welcome all patients who need to be hospitalized. But we are far from having reached the peak of the flu if we are to believe the example of Australia, which is in the middle of its winter season.

What are the solutions to best stem this triple epidemic?

First, we must encourage vaccination against influenza and against Covid-19. All people who have the opportunity to be vaccinated must do so to stop chain contamination. Then, it’s common sense, but unfortunately we’ve forgotten it a little, we have to go back to the barrier gestures: wash your hands regularly and wear a mask as soon as you have symptoms.

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