in mainland France, decline in the epidemic, unusually late this year

published on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 5:31 p.m.

As the flu is still circulating alongside Covid-19, Public Health France reaffirms the importance of barrier gestures and vaccination, especially for those most at risk, the elderly in mind.

Finally a reflux. The flu epidemic, unusually late this year for the season, is declining in mainland France, including for the first time for deaths, according to the weekly report from Public Health France, published this Wednesday, April 20.

“Although declining, influenza indicators were still at high levels marking a still intense circulation of influenza viruses in parallel with SARS-CoV-2 “the past week, however observed the health agency. In city medicine, as in hospitals, the proportion of consultations or admissions for influenza or flu-like illness receded.

On the death side, “for the first time”, the share linked to the flu among all deaths resulting from electronic certification has decreased. These deaths were mainly people aged 65 or over (85%) but 13 deaths were recorded in children under 15. As the flu is still circulating alongside Covid-19, Public Health France reaffirms the importance of barrier gestures and vaccination, especially for those most at risk, the elderly in mind.

Worse herd immunity?

Usually the peak of this epidemic caused by respiratory influenza viruses is reached around February. The late resumption of influenza this year may be linked to lower herd immunity to this epidemic. In the winter of 2020-2021, the French were less infected than usual, because the anti-Covid containment measures blocked the circulation of many other viruses. In addition, the intensification of the last few weeks has most likely been favored by the easing of measures to combat the pandemic, in particular the lifting of the compulsory mask.

Just over half (approximately 51.4%) of people at risk, those over 65 and vulnerable people, have been vaccinated against the flu, according to estimates. What’s more, the flu vaccination started just over five months ago, raising questions about the level of protection now.

In addition, the 2021-2022 flu vaccine seems to be of low effectiveness against the A(H3N2) virus, now large majority, according to preliminary data.

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