Flu: where is the epidemic and what barrier gestures should be applied on New Year’s Eve?

Flu: where is the epidemic and what barrier gestures should be applied on New Year's Eve?

The flu epidemic continues to spread: two new regions, Ile-de-Europe and Hauts-de-Europe, are now classified at the epidemic stage, according to the latest data published by Public Health Europe, on 27 December.

Like every year, the flu epidemic is gradually spreading in Europe. It was already affecting the eastern side of the country, the Ile-de-Europe and Hauts-de-Europe regions are now also affected and considered to be at the epidemic stage by Public Health Europe.

Seven regions considered to be in the midst of an epidemic

Beyond these two regions, five others are considered to be at the epidemic stage: Burgundy-Franche-Comté, Grand Est, Occitanie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur .

The pre-epidemic regions are rather located in the West, with Brittany and Normandy, but also Corsica. In the overseas departments and regions (DROM), Guyana and Mayotte were in an epidemic and Guadeloupe moved into pre-epidemic this week.

Rising indicators

According to the latest data from Public Health Europe, “Influenza/influenza syndrome indicators are increasing in primary care and hospitals, for all age groups, but more particularly those aged 0-14 and to a lesser extent, those aged 65 and over. .

The consultation rate for influenza-like illness is 274 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 228 per 100,000 inhabitants a week earlier. In hospitals, there was a 38% increase in the number of hospitalizations for influenza.

Barrier gestures to maintain, for all

In this context of high circulation of various respiratory viruses and in addition to vaccination against influenza and Covid-19 among the most vulnerable such as those over 65, the systematic adoption of barrier gestures by all remains essential, in particular the wearing of mask in case of symptoms, in busy places and in the presence of vulnerable people” estimates Public Health Europe.

For Dr Gérald Kierzek, these attitudes to adopt are common sense and are valid regardless of winter viruses. “You need to ventilate your home regularly, wash your hands often, wear a mask when you are sick… These are not measures specific to the flu but they can protect against other viruses, such as gastrointestinal enteritis or bronchiolitis, for example“.

What if we plan to spend New Year’s Eve with family or loved ones? “You must take precautions, such as wearing a mask if you are sick and not sharing cutlery“recommends the doctor.”Without depriving ourselves of having a good time with family and spoiling the festive spirit, we can get together, it’s also good for morale, what we call positive psychology” concludes the expert.