Flu, bronchiolitis, Covid: How epidemics are progressing in France

Many regions are still on high alert, with flu in particular continuing to spread

The flu epidemic has resumed its spread following a decline during the holidays
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The flu epidemic has spread to epidemic levels in 11 regions of France while Covid-19 and bronchiolitis have shown signs of abating. We look at the state of these epidemics in France.

The seasonal flu epidemic has resumed its spread following a slight decline during the holiday period.

The French public health authority, Santé Publique France (SPF), has observed "an increase in the circulation of the virus throughout the country, with 11 regions now at epidemic level".

Professor Bruno Lina, a virologist at the Lyon public hospital told BFMTV that the epidemic was likely to continue its spread.

"We are in a growth phase of the epidemic,” he said. “The school holidays resulted in something of a pause in its growth, but by no means halted it entirely.

“We can expect at least two to three more weeks of growth in the number of cases”.

What is the current state of the flu epidemic in France?

Pic: Visactu / The Connexion

Pays de la Loire was the latest region to be put on epidemic level, and both Normandy and Brittany are likely to follow in the coming weeks.

What is the current rate of Covid-19 in France?

Covid-19 is by no means at the level it was in 2022, according to data from emergency medical service SOS Médecins.

SPF reports “a decrease in the overall indications [of the epidemic], despite the virus remaining in active circulation."

It also reports a decline in the number of cases identified for all ages in hospitals, as well as the presence of the virus in wastewater.

Number of Covid-19 cases identified by SOS Médecins:

Pic: Santé Publique France

What is the current rate of bronchiolitis in France?

Bronchiolitis, which is a respiratory infection that primarily affects young children, was of particular concern towards the end of 2023.

However, the epidemic has been in marked decline for five weeks. Nonetheless, bronchiolitis is still at epidemic level in seven regions.

These regions are: Hauts-de-France, Grand Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine.

Number of bronchiolitis cases identified by SOS Médecins:

Pic: Santé Publique France

Can I still get a flu vaccination in France?

The flu vaccination campaign runs until January 31. However, the public health authorities have voiced their concern about the low take-up of the vaccine this year.

Many people are still eligible for a free flu or Covid-19 booster, including:

  • People aged 65 and over
  • People aged under 65 with certain chronic conditions
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are significantly overweight (Body Mass Index over 40)
  • People in contact with at-risk and immunocompromised individuals, including infants and children
  • People who work in the homes of at-risk individuals
  • Professionals who work with pigs or birds

Doctors, pharmacists, nurses and midwives can all give you the vaccination.

You can also pay for a booster if you are not part of the vaccination campaign. This costs between €6 and €12 depending on the brand.

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