Flu this winter: the departments where the virus is already circulating

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Will the flu come back in force this winter? After two years of the pandemic, wearing masks, spraying their hands with hydro-alcoholic gel and not kissing, the French have somewhat forgotten the barrier gestures at the start of autumn. If the cases of Covid-19 are again on the rise in France, another virus worries while temperatures are falling: the flu. The big vaccination campaign will start on October 18 and this year it has a special importance.

Asked by Le Parisien, Professor Alain Fischer, who chaired the Council for the Orientation of the Vaccine Strategy, is worried: “For two years, the flu has been kept at a distance, thanks to the barrier measures that we have put in place. in place against the Covid. This year, it will be difficult to maintain the same level of protection: masks, distancing, intensive hand washing… Faced with this relaxation, there is a serious risk of an influenza epidemic”. A concern all the greater since the flu has been virulent in the southern hemisphere, where winter has just ended.

Alain Fisher also warns of a simultaneous circulation of influenza and Covid-19, as the eighth wave begins to sweep over France. “A Covid-flu cohabitation is nothing to be happy about,” he insists to the Parisian, specifying: “It is synonymous with a very high number of hospitalizations”. The only way to protect yourself? Get vaccinated, both against the flu and against a new variant of Covid, thanks to a booster dose.

The former “mister vaccine” of the government therefore calls on the most vulnerable people to be vaccinated now against the flu. It targets more particularly the elderly, pregnant women and the most fragile, because “the danger is not well perceived”. He knows it, we will have to “remobilize a population that is fed up with infections and vaccines”.

For the time being, no region of France is in an epidemic situation, but the flu is already circulating in certain departments, according to the latest data from Public Health France. In about fifteen of them, the emergency room visit rate for the flu is even higher than the rest of the country. Will they be the first to switch to orange alert, then red in a few weeks? We take stock in the slideshow below.