Covid, bronchiolitis and influenza: the Minister of Well being warns France of going through a “triple epidemic”

French Well being Minister Francois Brown mentioned on Wednesday that the French well being system faces a harmful week forward as a result of “triple epidemic” of Covid, influenza and bronchiolitis, a respiratory an infection that impacts youngsters underneath the age of two.

The variety of influenza instances specifically has “exploded” in France, Well being Minister Francois Brown mentioned throughout a go to to the Annecy-Genevois hospital in japanese France on Wednesday.

“On this triple epidemic, we’re coming into a interval of remission with respect to COVID and bronchiolitis,” with the prevalence of COVID declining and what was beforehand a “very excessive” variety of bronchiolitis instances amongst youngsters, Brown mentioned.

Nonetheless, for influenza, “there was an explosion of instances, together with extreme instances, which implies that complete intensive care companies are saturated,” Brown mentioned.

“This week is filled with dangers, however the hospital workers has been absolutely mobilized and might be operating the system,” he mentioned.

In a report launched final week, French well being authorities mentioned there was a “steady enhance in indicators of influenza amongst all age teams” and a 75% enhance in hospitalizations resulting from influenza an infection.

Brown famous that many French medical facilities face related challenges, together with workers shortages. Annecy hospital’s staffing issues are compounded “by its proximity to Switzerland”, with many French healthcare professionals selecting to work as an alternative.

And the Minister of Well being issued a message reminding residents to take well being precautions even in the course of the festive season, amid new fears of a rise in influenza instances in January.

“For influenza, getting vaccinated remains to be as vital as sporting masks and washing arms, particularly in enclosed areas the place lots of people congregate,” Brown mentioned.

After months of strict coronavirus restrictions, France dropped its indoor masks mandate on February 28.

(France 24 with Agence France-Presse)

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