Bronchiolitis is progressing in France. The regions Hauts-de-FranceBurgundy-Franche-Comté, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie have just moved into the epidemic phase, indicated Wednesday Public health France. This brings to 10 the number of regions in the epidemic phase in mainland France. Only Corsica seems spared by the disease, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions being classified as “pre-epidemic”. Overseas, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana are also in the epidemic phase.
During the week of October 30 to November 5, “the activity linked to bronchiolitis was significantly increasing in France for all the indicators of syndromic surveillance: SOS Médecins medical procedures, visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations after visits to the emergencies for bronchiolitis,” observes the public health organization. In detail, 745 SOS Médecins medical procedures for bronchiolitis were carried out for children under two years old. This represents 9.2% of all medical procedures in this age group.
3,870 visits to the emergency room for bronchiolitis were also recorded. The vast majority of these visits to the emergency room concern toddlers, aged less than 1 year (92%).
After going to the emergency room, 1,311 children had to be hospitalized (33.1% of hospitalizations in this age group). Here too, toddlers are over-represented (95%). Public Health France also counts 25 hospitalizations in intensive care units for bronchiolitis in children under two years old.
Barrier measures to adopt
But this increase in indicators worries health authorities, as winter approaches. The positivity rate for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – the main cause of bronchiolitis – was increasing in hospitals among all age groups last week. “Other viruses likely to induce bronchiolitis continued to circulate, in particular rhinoviruses,” also notes Public Health France.
“It is necessary to be particularly vigilant”
In this context, “it is necessary to be particularly vigilant and apply barrier measures, particularly in the presence of children under the age of two,” insists the organization. But these reflexes are still too little acquired by the French, reveals at the same time the CoviPrev survey
on the evolution of the adoption of barrier gestures. So if 60% of respondents say they are ready to continue to respect or to respect barrier gestures more often in the event of a return of the Covid 19 epidemic, only 22% say the same for another disease of the winter. Only 15% of respondents say they wear a mask systematically in the presence of vulnerable people. However, “the hygiene measures are effective”, recalls one communicated
distributed this Thursday by 24 health structures, including the French Society of Pediatrics and the French Association of Ambulatory Pediatrics. These structures urge everyone to contribute to strengthening the fight against winter respiratory infections, in particular by making the best use of strategies to prevent RSV infections in infants. As a reminder, wear a mask if you have symptoms, wash your hands before and after each change, feeding, meal or hug; Ventilating your home regularly, not sharing unwashed bottles, pacifiers or cutlery and not smoking near babies and children are some of the best practices to adopt to deal with bronchiolitis.
Survey conducted from September 11 to 18, 2023.