At the same time, the flu, not very present in mainland France, is increasingly worrying on the island of Reunion.
The bronchiolitis epidemic continues in France among infants, while the flu, for the time being little present in metropolitan France, threatens to go into an epidemic phase in Réunion, the health authorities announced on Wednesday (November 24th). The metropolis is marked by a “continuation of the epidemic of bronchiolitis”, all regions remaining affected, summarized in its weekly bulletin the agency Public Health France.
In children under two years of age, emergency room visits and hospitalizations linked to bronchiolitis rebounded the week of November 14, after a lull at the beginning of the month. It was only a one-off reduction “linked to school holidays” and All Saints’ Day, the agency explains.
Over a thousand hospitalizations
Of the 3,609 children under two seen in the emergency room for bronchiolitis last week, 3,189 (88%) were under one year of age and 1,257 (35%) were hospitalized. Of these, more than 90% were less than one year old.
Common and highly contagious, bronchiolitis causes babies to cough and difficult, fast, and wheezing. Most of the time benign, it may however require a visit to the emergency room, or even hospitalization.
Last winter, confinements and anti-Covid barrier gestures helped block all viruses, including RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), responsible for bronchiolitis. The children were less infected than usual and are therefore less immunized collectively, raising fears of a stronger epidemic this year. This phenomenon could also concern other winter viruses, including those of influenza or gastroenteritis.
Influenza in Mayotte and Réunion
As such, seasonal flu, the epidemic of which usually spreads later in the year, remains little present in metropolitan France, according to Public Health France, which only mentions a few isolated cases in intensive care. On the other hand, in the overseas territories, Réunion is experiencing a transition to the pre-epidemic phase. Mayotte, for its part, remains struck by the epidemic, as has already been the case for several weeks.