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Paris and Sud regions on high alert for flu and gastro

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (Sud) region is on high alert for flu and gastroenteritis, with only slightly fewer people affected there than in Paris.

The PACA (Sud) region is the most affected in France by “gastro”, according to reports on the French medical GP network Sentinelles, although it notes that there have been “no hospitalisations” for complications such as “severe diarrhoea”.

Influenza (“flu”, known in French as “grippe”) is also at severe levels in PACA, currently affecting around 495 people for everyone 10,000 inhabitants, just down from the 510 cases per 10,000 seen in the Parisian area.

The CHU in Nice reported a rise in admissions due to flu by 30-35% over the past weekend, with patients susceptible to further issues if not properly treated.

“This brutal flu is characterised by a high fever of up to 39-40°C lasting for up to five days, with high risk of dehydration,” explains Dr Pierre-Marie Tardieux, a general doctor at Nice CHU, speaking to local newspaper Nice Matin. “Patients are then weakened by this, and may therefore develop pneumonia later.”

The national average for flu across France last week was at 349 cases for every 10,000 inhabitants, according to Sentinelles, which represented 227,000 new cases across the country.

“This is a significant rise compared to the week before,” the website writes, and added that older people should be most careful as “they are the most-affected”.

Cases were not simply confined to older people, however: those receiving treatment for flu across the country were aged from just one month old to people aged 90, with the median age being a relatively-young 26.

Men accounted for 48% of cases, the medical network noted.

The issues come just weeks after the national flu vaccination campaign sought to target younger people, saying that it was not just those with compromised immune systems or the especially old or vulnerable who should get the jab, but that everyone could benefit.

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