An increase in these infections has been noted since this fall. Number of pneumonia, a category of respiratory infections which are experiencing an unusually high level this year, stabilized at the end of the year in France but it remains high, the public health agency detailed on Tuesday. “A trend towards stabilization began over the two weeks (…) at the beginning of December,” summarized Public Health France in a report published on its site.
However, the level of these infections remains unprecedented for several years and the mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, to which these pneumonias are mainly attributed, continues to be frequently detected when tests are carried out on patients. This bacteria was detected a little less during the first weeks of December, during PCR tests carried out on patients in hospital, but the frequency increased again shortly before the holidays.
No deaths reported
The strong circulation of these mycoplasmas is, according to health authorities, both linked to the lifting of anti-Covid restrictions and to the propagation cycle specific to this pathogen. After more than three years at a low level of circulation in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, an increase in respiratory infections caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae has been observed since this fall in France and in other countries, notably in Europe and in Southeast Asia.
The vast majority of these infections are mild and resolve spontaneously, with no deaths having so far been reported, but some cases may require hospitalization. At the beginning of December, nearly 4% of visits to emergency rooms by under-15s were linked to pneumonia, a figure which is now falling. The share is lower but still increasing in certain age groups such as 15-44 year olds (more than 1%) and 45-64 year olds (around 2%).
The High Authority for Health (HAS) detailed a few days ago the action to be taken in the event of suspected mycoplasma infection, emphasizing that treatment with antibiotics should immediately be considered. The objective is to prevent the onset of serious forms of the disease, particularly in people most at risk due to their age or the presence of chronic illnesses, including asthma.