the essential
The influenza epidemic for the 2022-2023 season starts slowly on the French mainland, but it can be of high intensity, as it has been in several countries in the southern hemisphere. Specialists recommend getting vaccinated against influenza from October 18 … and not forgetting the reminders about the anti-Covid vaccination.

With the mild temperatures that have extended the summer in France in recent days, it would be easy to forget that the flu is actually back. “The measures put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19 during the pandemic have also helped to reduce the burden of influenza. But with the lifting of most of these measures, the flu is back and should not be taken take it easy,” the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday, October 5. “Influenza vaccines are safe and effective in reducing the number of serious cases and deaths, especially in the most vulnerable groups. So get vaccinated against the flu,” ordered doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Also read:
MAINTENANCE. The flu returns: “We must continue to apply the barrier movements we learned during Covid”, according to virologist Jacques Izopet

As a reminder, “about one billion people get seasonal influenza every year and the threat of an influenza pandemic is permanent,” explains the WHO, which analyzes virus surveillance data produced by the WHO Global Surveillance System. Influenza and Response (GISRS). This global network of more than 150 laboratories in 127 countries, territories or territories is also celebrating its 70th anniversary.e anniversary of its establishment. Each year there are 5 million cases of serious illness and 290,000 to 650,000 deaths, according to the WHO.

2 to 6 million cases of influenza per year in France

In France, where the flu affects 2 to 6 million people each year, the seasonal flu epidemic remains weak in early autumn. In its first weekly flu surveillance bulletin, published on Wednesday, Public Health France revealed a map of France completely green, that is, with the “no alert” level. The frequency of consultations for influenza-like illness, established by the Sentinelles network, is 76 per 100,000 inhabitants. Influenza syndromes currently represent 1.9% of SOS Médecins’ medical operations and less than 1% of emergency room visits, according to a count from the Oscour system. The number of influenza positive samples identified is 3 (2.8%) within the ambulatory medicine surveillance of the Sentinelles network and 22 (0.5%) in the hospital laboratories notified to the National Reference Center (CNR) for respiratory viruses.

Also read:
Covid-19: The eighth wave is growing

Abroad, on the other hand, Public Health France noted that Reunion entered the epidemic phase of influenza during the week of September 26. In Martinique, influenza surveillance indicators in the city and in the hospital increased sharply during the week of active circulation of the influenza virus (hospital positivity rate of 28%). In Guadeloupe, city monitoring indicators have been rising for two weeks.

Seasonal Influenza Update

Seasonal Influenza Update

While influenza vaccination coverage in 2021-2022 was higher than in 2019-2020, it was lower than in 2020-2021. The authorities therefore encourage the population to be vaccinated. “We have not had a strong influenza epidemic for two years, and therefore our overall immunity to influenza is probably diminished”, assessed on October 4 at the RMC Professor Brigitte Autran, Chair of the Committee for Monitoring and Anticipation of Risks (Covars, which succeeded Covid -19 Scientific Council). The specialist “hugely” encourages vaccination against influenza, as much as against Covid, whose reminder campaign for the most vulnerable population groups was launched on October 3 with new vaccines adapted to the variants.

Also read:
Bronchiolitis affecting young children under supervision

The flu vaccine campaign starts on October 18

Immunology professor Alain Fischer, the government’s “Mister vaccine”, shares this analysis and estimated on September 28 in The Parisian that “there is a serious risk of an influenza epidemic”, stressing that “a flu-Covid coexistence is not something to be happy about”; especially since the influenza epidemic that has already hit the southern hemisphere has been virulent, especially in New Zealand and South Africa. Professor Fischer also strongly recommends double injection of the Covid and influenza vaccine.

The seasonal flu vaccination campaign starts on October 18 in pharmacies and will be reserved until November 15 for people in the risk group (people aged 65 and over, people under 65 with certain chronic diseases, pregnant women, obese people, those around infants under 6 months exposed and immunocompromised people, healthcare workers, etc.).

Also read:
Covid-19 and influenza: adverse effects, people at risk … should vaccines be combined?