France is worried about an unprecedented “triple pandemic”

France is worried about an unprecedented

Covid, bronchiolitis and influenza: the triple pandemic and its evolution, which is still difficult to predict, is feared by Public Health France.

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AleThe “triple pandemic” France is facing, with the simultaneous spread of Covid, bronchiolitis and influenza, is “completely unprecedented” and its evolution is still difficult to predict, underlined public health France on Friday. .

The flu hits the metropolis early, leading to a spike in Covid and bronchiolitis in infants at record levels in more than 10 years. The situation strains an already tested healthcare system, as in other countries, particularly the United States.

“The situation is completely unprecedented” and full of “uncertainties,” Didier Che, deputy director of infectious diseases, summarized during a press briefing from the public health agency. “In previous years, there were rather respiratory viruses that followed one another: the first circulation of rhinovirus gave way to RSV (the main virus involved in bronchiolitis, editor’s note), which generally gave way to the flu. There, our There is close co-circulation,” detailed epidemiologist Sophie Vaux.


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He said the situation is “worrying” because adding these malformations could have a “quite strong clinical impact, particularly on hospitals”. And that, even though these viruses don’t affect “exactly the same population”, flu and Covid primarily affect the oldest and most vulnerable, bronchiolitis primarily affects infants. “It is difficult to predict the occurrence of peaks” of the three pandemics, with possible simultaneous peaks of Covid and influenza, or even bronchiolitis, particularly at Christmas.

One of the big unknowns is a potential competition between influenza and COVID viruses that could make it difficult for them to co-exist and limit the risk of simultaneous peaks. “It still takes some time to know whether this notion of viral cannibalism has been confirmed”, judged Mr Che, for whom “it is too early to draw conclusions from the US situation”. But, he stressed, France is “not yet completely helpless” and has “a preventive arsenal” in the face of this triple pandemic.

Public Health France has placed greater emphasis than ever on vaccination against Covid but also the flu, as year-end celebrations come with family gatherings conducive to the transmission of the virus. Barrier gestures (masks in closed spaces, hand washing, ventilation, etc.) are also strongly recommended.

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