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Flu is on the rise again in France: Which areas are most affected?

New data shows the illness is increasing after four consecutive weeks of improvement

The number of people with flu going to A&E has risen as has the number of people being admitted to hospital Pic: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

The flu epidemic is on the rise again in France after four weeks of retreat.

A total of 10 out of 13 regions in the country are on red alert, meaning they are at ‘epidemic’ level. Three regions are particularly affected.

They are: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Centre-Val-de-Loire and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

The increase in cases comes after four consecutive weeks of decrease. Most of the cases are of the B/Victoria strain, national health authority Santé publique France said in its most recent bulletin.

Flu season began early in France this winter and it came alongside a particularly severe epidemic of bronchiolitis which hit infants and babies hard. Continuing cases of Covid-19 led health authorities to speak of a “triple epidemic” that put healthcare facilities under major strain.

New tests were even released that could test for both viruses at the same time.

Read more: Flu and Covid: New tests in France can detect both viruses at once 

In November, professionals said that the cause of the wider spread was partly caused by “vaccination fatigue” and a lack of eligible people having their anti-flu vaccine.

Read more: Covid, flu and bronchiolitis are ‘hitting hard’ in France this year 

From January 23-29, positive tests for flu rose by 13%. This trend applied to all ages except for those aged under five.

The number of people going to A&E due to flu-related issues rose by 14%, and the number of people being admitted to hospital after being seen also rose, by 13%.

In contrast, bronchiolitis is continuing to retreat, after beginning to calm down in December. The regions of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur are no longer at epidemic levels, after having suffered badly last year.

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How to get flu jab in France - where to get vaccinated this winter

Health experts concerned by effects of Covid on winter illnesses

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