HEALTH groups have launched hygiene reminders as the annual winter gastroenteritis outbreak gets under way.
The official epidemic threshold has been breached with an average 203 cases per 100,000 people being reported last week.
The regions particularly affected are Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardie, Limousin, the Centre, Poitou-Charentes, Champagne-Ardenne, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur and Alsace.
Symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, light fever and diarrhoea.
Health groups are reminding people to take basic hygiene precautions, such as washing their hands after going to the toilet, before and during food preparation, not drinking from other people's glasses or spoon-feeding themselves at the same time as their children.
Adults do not necessarily need to see a doctor, but should recover in about three days with rest, plenty of water and appropriate food.
Babies and young children are more susceptible to the illness and should be taken to a doctor. Elderly people should be kept under observation.
As yet the number of flu cases in the country remains low, but is expected to rise as winter progresses.
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