The triple bronchiolitis-flu-Covid epidemic continues to rise throughout the country. According to Public Health Europe, the number of cases is increasing in cities, but also in hospitals.
As the holidays approach, the dreaded bronchiolitis-flu-Covid trio is making the French tremble. Where are the infectious cases located? Which profiles are most affected? What about hospital overload? Update on this triple epidemic.
The three viruses are circulating more and more in Europe
According to the organization, the circulation of these three acute respiratory infections is “increasing in community medicine and hospitals“.
- As for bronchiolitis, the epidemic spread to around fifteen regions, between November 27 and December 3. Only Corsica is spared. All indicators nevertheless seem “stabilize” on French territory, which could herald the passage of the epidemic peak in the coming weeks.
- For Covid, unsurprisingly, the trend is increasing.of most indicators“. Those aged 65 and over were the most affected.
- Finally, on the flu side, we are witnessing a “slight increase in the majority of flu/flu-like syndrome indicators in Europe with the transition to the pre-epidemic phase of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Île-deFrance and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions“.
“In this epidemiological context, it is necessary to be particularly vigilant and apply barrier measures, particularly in the presence of children under 2 years old, to prevent bronchiolitis. In addition, it is important that older people or people with risk factors get vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza, as these vaccinations can be concomitant.“, warns the organization.
Covid, bronchiolitis, flu: 3 very different diseases
If the situation is “completely unprecedented” according to Public Health Europe, remember that flu, Covid-19 and bronchiolitis are three different pathologies, caused by three different viruses: RSV for bronchiolitis, Sars-Cov-2 (and its variants, in particular Omicron) for Covid-19 and the H3N2 virus for the flu this year.
Climatic conditions favor time spent indoors and thus viral transmission, which may explain the increase in cases. But each of these conditions, even Covid-19, should be considered a recurring seasonal infection.
Covid-19, a special case
Concerning Covid-19, whose evolution occurs in waves rather than by season, the cold also plays a role in its spread. Indeed, the virus, which is transmitted by aerosols and droplets, sees its transmission favored by gatherings of people in enclosed places with poor or poor ventilation. Unsurprisingly, in week 47, from November 20 to 27, SPF notes “an acceleration in the circulation of SARS-CoV-2“And therefore, more generally, we are witnessing a joint progression of the viruses responsible for these three pathologies.
The profile of affected individuals differs
“The bronchiolitis virus particularly affects young children and infants, while flu and Covid are the prerogative of adults, mainly” explains Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.
The doctor therefore wants to reassure the crowds, worried about the progression of these three diseases and the hospital overload that they could cause.
Simple actions to prevent infections
If the Covid-19 epidemic worsens, can we fear increased tension in the hospital?
“The hospital is the place that brings together all sick people and there is always a lack of resources, but let us remember that these are not the same services which receive children affected by bronchiolitis and adults infected with the flu or Covid” further specifies the doctor, who wants to avoid any alarmism.
“On the other hand, let us recall the importance of barrier gestures and vaccination, particularly among adults, which concerns the same people for influenza and Covid.” he concludes.