The number of flu cases in particular have “exploded” in France, Health Minister François Braun said during a visit to Annecy Genevois hospital in eastern France on Wednesday.
“In this triple epidemic we are entering into a period of calm concerning Covid and bronchiolitis,” Braun said, with Covid “circulating less” and what was previously a “very high” number of bronchiolitis cases among children now leveling off.
However, for the flu, “there has been an explosion of cases, including serious cases, which means that overall intensive care services are saturated”, Braun said.
“This week is full of dangers, but hospital staff have been fully mobilised and the system will manage,” he said.
In a report released last week, French health authorities said there had been a “continued increase in flu indicators among all age groups” and a 75% increase in hospitalisations due to flu infections.
Many French medical centres are facing similar challenges, Braun noted, including staff shortages. The Annecy hospital’s staff troubles are exacerbated “by proximity to Switzerland”, where many French healthcare professionals choose to work instead.
The health minister issued a reminder for people to take health precautions even during the festive season amid new fears of an increase in flu cases in January.
“For the flu, vaccination is still relevant as is mask-wearing and hand-washing, especially in enclosed spaces where many people are gathering,” Braun said.
After months of strict coronavirus restrictions, France dropped its indoor mask mandate on February 28.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
The post Covid, bronchiolitis, flu: Health minister warns France is facing ‘triple epidemic’ appeared first on France 24.