Flu, rhino, gastro: Why winter illnesses are likely to return – 20 mins

Flu, rhino, gastro: Why winter illnesses are likely to return – 20 mins

It coughs. It sniffs. He sniffles and sneezes. In the subway, in the office, in the supermarket, everywhere. Most of us hypochondriacs would almost feel like we could see the miasma spreading with the naked eye out there, under the gray sky and cold autumn.

If we don’t miss them, there’s no doubt that the winter diseases that hit in the fall are about to make a big comeback. Between cases Covid-19, angina and other nasopharyngeal infections join the viral festivities. We are raising the specter of major epidemics this winter.

“We saw revival for two weeks”

The numbers already show it: in the week of September 19 to 25, “the incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) recorded in general medicine clinics was estimated at 127 cases per 100,000 population.” Network of Sentinels in its latest bulletin on surveillance of ARIs, including Covid-19, seasonal influenza and all respiratory viruses. An increase in the rate compared to the previous week (93 cases per 100,000)”. And which nearly doubled in two weeks: in the week of Sept. 5-11, the rate was “66 cases per 100,000,” according to the Health Surveillance Network.

A finding that materializes in the practice of general medicine. “We see it at the consultation: Winter viruses have been renewed for two weeks,” confirms Dr. Luc Duquesnel, general practitioner and president of the union. Generalists-CSMF. In addition to Covid-19 starting again, we also have many cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which gives the same ENT picture: runny nose, sore throat, fever, body aches. So yes, it’s increasing.

And even toddlers are not spared: “It is RSV that causes inflammation of the nasopharynx, angina and causes a dry cough, according to the general practitioner. Children become contaminated before their parents are contaminated.

“Fear of a strong flu epidemic”

If the epidemic milestone is still far from being crossed, which is normal for this time of year, the numbers should be let down in the coming weeks. “In addition to angina pectoris and nasopharyngitis, we can expect a return of episodes of gastroenteritis in the coming weeks. But also, and above all, seasonal flu in co-circulation with Covid-19,” warns Dr. Duquesnel. Because the eighth wave of Covid-19 is already starting.

The risk of a double epidemic against which Professor Alain Fischer also warns, the former government’s Mr. Covid vaccine, who fears a virulent return of the flu. And a data set from the other side of the globe supports his concerns: data on the flu epidemic in Australia, which rages at the heart of what our summer is like and which corresponds to the Australian winter. According to the Australian Department of Health, the country has just finished its worst flu season in at least five years.

A scenario that could play out in France this winter. “If we fail to vaccinate more patients against the flu than last winter, there is clearly a fear of a flu epidemic,” fears Dr. Duquesnel that the seasonal flu vaccination campaign is scheduled to begin on October 18.

“A major challenge to achieve better control of respiratory infections”

So “we will have to remobilize a population that is oversaturated with infections and vaccines,” Professor Fischer explained in an interview given to the Parisian. And there is an urgency: “When we see how easily people have abandoned barrier gestures when we are in the midst of restoring coronavirusthis may cause concern for the next few weeks,” adds Dr. Duquesnel.

“Whether it’s Covid-19, seasonal flu or other seasonal viruses, there is a real public health challenge to better control all these infectious respiratory infections,” insists Dr. Benjamin Davido, Infectious Disease Specialist and Referral Physician. The Covid-19 crisis at the Raymond-Poincaré hospital in Garches. For almost three years, the behavior has changed, but a relaxation is regularly observed on the barrier gestures.

However, as doctors have emphasized since the beginning of the pandemic and even before: “Respecting barrier measures plays a decisive role in controlling these epidemics, emphasizes Dr. Duquesnel. Remember the winter of 2020-2021, the barrier measures were strictly observed by the residents and we did not have these epidemics of winter diseases. No flu, no bronchiolitis. Maybe wearing a mask in transit would be a good first step to protect yourself more. Here and there vaccination authorized persons”.

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