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the virus has killed three people

The flu epidemic reached its peak in Normandy, in this second week of holidays in February 2019. The virus killed three people. Some tips to protect yourself.

The flu epidemic reached its peak in Normandy during the holidays of February 2019.
The flu epidemic reached its peak in Normandy during the holidays of February 2019. (© Illustration / Adobe Stock)

Theflu epidemic is rampant Normandy since 21 January 2019. Since the beginning of the surveillance implemented by Public health FranceIn November 2018, 37 serious cases of influenza hospitalized in intensive care were reported in the Normandy region. Three deaths are to be deplored.

If the virus arrived a little later in Normandy than in other regions, Normandy is not spared by the epidemic in equal proportions, or even higher than in previous years. We take stock with Mélanie Martel, epidemiologist at Public Health France.

Read also: INFOGRAPHY. Influenza in Normandy: an "intense" epidemic that persists

Normandy-news : How is the flu virus evolving in Normandy?
Mélanie Martel, Epidemiologist at Public Health France: The influenza virus arrived later in Normandy than in previous years, ie end of January, beginning of February. He had arrived earlier in recent years, December / January.

But in fact, the arrival of the flu in late January, early February, in Normandy, this corresponds to a normal year. The virus was very early in previous years.

Moreover, today, the figures show a presence of the higher flu compared to previous years. SOS Doctors account for 22% of their interventions for influenza and emergency services, about 4%. In previous years, we were rather in lesser proportions, 15% for SOS Doctors and 3% for emergencies.

Read also: "exceptional flu": in Normandy, schools and hospitals on alert

The peak of the epidemic has passed

However, we have just passed the peak of the epidemic in this second week of February holidays. We should go down a curve from this week. To know if the flu epidemic was more or less severe this winter 2018/2019, it will be necessary to await the winter assessment in the spring.

Read also: MAPS. Cases of "rising" influenza in Normandy, the epidemic arrives: how to protect oneself

There have been three deaths since the beginning of the epidemic, is this a lot compared to previous years?
It should be noted that these three deaths were severe cases in the intensive care unit, that is to say, people who also had problems with diabetes, cardiac or even pulmonary. The flu was an aggravating factor but was not the leading cause of death.

Last year, we recorded 11 deaths related to the flu epidemic in Normandy, knowing that our surveillance has changed. Last year, we had returns from all institutions. From now on, we have only the resuscitation services that give us their figures. We will see during the winter assessment, but I think we are about the same proportions as last year.

Read also: The flu epidemic arrives in Normandy: health services on alert

"The virus can stay eight hours in a handkerchief"

We are still in the epidemic phase in Normandy, what to do to guard against this virus?
The vaccine, which is effective three weeks later, is no longer the preferred way to prevent the flu. It should have been done at the time of the vaccination campaign in November.

Today, it is the rules of hygiene that will prevent you from catching the virus. Know that the virus can survive eight hours in a handkerchief! So we often have to wash our hands but also avoid all collective places like public transport for example.

Read also: In the face of the emergency crisis, the Regional Health Agency promises solutions in Normandy

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