the number of hospitalizations reaches a level not seen for more than 10 years

The epidemic bronchiolitis continues to progress in recent days
in France, despite a slowdown linked to school holidays, indicates Public Health France on Wednesday. the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations has reached unprecedented levels “for more than 10 years”, point out the health authorities.

The epidemic continues to progress

Noting a “continued increase” indicators “despite a shift in connection with the Toussaint school holidays”Public Health France has pointed to “very high number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations for bronchiolitis and at levels higher than those observed at epidemic peaks for more than 10 years”in its weekly report.

A total of 6,891 children under the age of two went to the emergency room for bronchiolitis in mainland France in the week from October 31 to November 6, be one weekly increase of 7%, much less than the increase of the previous week (+47%). Some 2,337 children were eventually hospitalized. “Hospitalizations for bronchiolitis represent 50% of hospitalizations following a visit to the emergency room in children under two years of age. In comparison, this percentage was around 40% during the peaks of previous seasons”, noted Public Health France.

Regions in the northern half of the country are more affected

The epidemic appears globally more marked in the regions of the northern half of France, adds the public health agency in its weekly report.

Common and highly contagious, bronchiolitis causes babies to cough and have difficult, rapid, wheezy breathing. If it is distressing for young parents, it is most of the time benign. In some cases, it may require a visit to the emergency room, or even hospitalization.

A severe epidemic in the midst of a pediatric crisis

This epidemic has hit pediatric emergency services plunged into a crisis linked to unsatisfactory working conditions and a lack of staff. Faced with this crisis and under pressure from caregivers, the Minister of Health François Braun announced new measures last week to support pediatric wards
for a total amount of around 400 million euros. He then recognized a “worrying situation” in hospitals, linked to an epidemic of bronchiolitis
“disturbing”.

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