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Flu case numbers rise sharply across mainland France

The recent surge in infections comes particularly late this year, and even after Ile-de-France was judged to have emerged from its local flu epidemic

Flu infection numbers have risen sharply across mainland France this week Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

Cases of flu are on the rise in all of mainland France this week, even after the epidemic was judged to have ended in certain areas.  

Every metropolitan French region excluding Corsica is now in the ‘epidemic’ stage of their yearly flu outbreak, and this week saw a “marked increase in all indicators of flu infections,” stated Santé publique France in its latest report. 

Even Ile-de-France, which was hit hard by flu cases at the end of 2021, has seen a rise in infections despite having been judged to have emerged from its ‘epidemic phase’ at the beginning of 2022.

The number of people attending health appointments with flu-like symptoms has risen by 95% this week compared to the last. The rate at which people are going to A&E with such symptoms has also increased by 62%, and subsequent hospitalisations were up 64%.

Over the course of this winter’s flu epidemic, there have been 157 serious cases treated in intensive care units.

This latest resurgence of the flu comes particularly late this year: normally the peak in cases – measured by the number of GP consultations in comparison to population numbers – takes place in February.

Winter 2020/21 proved an exception to this rule, as the Covid lockdown measures in place at the time served to prevent the flu virus from circulating. 

This meant that fewer people had natural immunity this winter, so allowing for the flu to take hold once again. However, case rates are still lower than they were in winter 2019/20.

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