The number of children with bronchiolitis has skyrocketed in recent weeks in France. Several regions have reached the alert level.
Posted 10/14/2021 at 8:32 am
Through Felix Pennel
The bronchiolitis worries the health authorities. This Wednesday, Île-de-France and the Grand Est were placed on epidemic alert level. Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Brittany, Center-Val-de-Loire, Normandy, New-Aquitaine, Occitanie, Pays-de-la-Loire, region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Guyana are on pre-epidemic alert. The Hauts-de-France have already been there since the previous week. Nationally, from October 4 to 10, 1,779 children under 2 went through the emergency room for bronchiolitis (+ 38% in seven days) and 643 were hospitalized. The vast majority (88%) of these young patients are less than 1 year old.
In Hauts-de-France, a sharp increase in emergency room visits
« Over the past three weeks, activity for bronchiolitis has been steadily increasing among SOS Médecins and emergency departments in Hauts-de-France, exceeding the levels usually observed during the same period in previous seasons. », Had noticed Public Health France for the week of September 27 to October 3, justifying the passage in pre-epidemic alert. The number of children under 2 hospitalized for bronchiolitis increased by 73.9% in one week. The health authorities will give updated figures this Friday in their weekly epidemiological surveillance report.
A dreaded severe epidemic
In its assessment of the bronchiolitis epidemic in winter 2020/2021, Public Health France indicated that an epidemic ” of greater magnitude than that observed each year is possible next year due to the reduced immune stimulation induced by the weak circulation of the virus this winter, in a context of lifting of barrier measures. Such a phenomenon has been observed in Australia which this fall reported an epidemic of unusual intensity. “A warning that seems to be confirmed, health indicators today going in the direction of a rapid and earlier start of the circulation of the bronchiolitis virus compared to previous years.
Respect hygiene measures
Bronchiolitis is a respiratory disease that affects children under 2 years of age. It is most often caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is easily transmitted from person to person through saliva, coughs and sneezes, and can remain on hands and objects. The prevention of bronchiolitis is based on hygiene measures: regular hand washing, wearing a surgical mask in the event of a cough, avoiding contact on the hands or face in the event of a cold, etc. According to the Ministry of Health, 30% of children under the age of 2 are affected by bronchiolitis each year. The death rate is less than 1%.