New French regions have been won in recent days by the annual bronchiolitis epidemic, which mainly affects babies, even if its level remains lower for the moment than the historic outbreak of last year, Public Health France announced this Thursday in its weekly report. Last week, “activity linked to bronchiolitis was still increasing in community medicine and in hospitals among children under 2 years old,” summarizes the public health agency.
Centre-Val de Loire and the Grand-Est have now entered the epidemic phase, joining Brittany, Île-de-France, Normandy and Pays de la Loire in mainland France. Overseas, three regions (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana) remain in the epidemic phase.
Beyfortus still in short supply
Bronchiolitis, caused primarily by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), causes babies to have difficulty breathing. Generally not serious, it can sometimes lead to visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations. Last year, it was the cause of an unprecedented epidemic in more than ten years, sending tens of thousands of infants to hospital.
The current level of hospitalizations, however, remains lower than it was last year, even if it is still far too early to draw conclusions about the face of the epidemic this season. One of the big questions is what effect a new preventive treatment will have, Sanofi’s Beyfortus. Initially offered to all babies born since February, it is currently reserved for maternity wards, pending new stocks.