Influenza epidemic: hospitalizations jump 118% in one week, the peak has still not passed

While the peak of the Covid epidemic seems to have passed, that of the flu is not yet. Cases are still on the rise, and hospitalizations are skyrocketing as the end of the year approaches.

The incidence rate of consultations for flu-like illness has increased by 57% in one week, according to the latest epidemiological bulletin from Public health France on the flu. All regions of France are in an epidemic situation and it is hospitalizations that seem to worry the health authorities the most.

Hospitalizations up 118%

SPF indicates that the number of hospitalizations after going to the emergency room for flu-like illness increased by 118% in 7 days. This trend was observed in all age groups but was more marked among 5-14 year olds”, specifies the bulletin.

And if we compare the data observed during the 2015-16 to 2021-22 seasons, “the proportion of influenza-like illnesses among hospitalizations was increasing sharply and went from a low epidemic level to a moderate epidemic level in S50”, note SPF again.

A situation that is also of concern on the side of ARS Occitanie, which is issuing a press release this Thursday, December 22 calling “all public, private and liberal health actors to strengthen their cooperation and coordination to guarantee access to care at the end of the year”.

“Current epidemics are at the end of the year arousing strong healthcare activity throughout the region. These epidemics also impact all the healthcare teams, who are mobilized in a context of absenteeism strongly linked to the Covid epidemic”, indicates the ARS.

The peak of the other two epidemics has been crossed

As a reminder, hospitals are particularly affected this year by a triple epidemic, influenza, bronchiolitis and Covid. The peak of bronchiolitis was reached last week, according to the Public Health France bulletin released in mid-December, which showed that the indicators of the disease were down in the majority of regions.

On the Covid side, the peak also seems to have been reached: “We experienced a peak in the incidence of covid-19, Tuesday or Wednesday (December 13 and 14, editor’s note). Since then, we have observed a decrease”, indicated Monday December 19, Bruno Lina, virologist of the Monitoring and anticipation of health risks (Covars).

The flu is not behind us yet. The ARS also reminds patients that “the first reflex consists in priority in contacting your general practitioner” and that in case of “doubt, emergency, or need for medical advice, the good reflex is always to call 15 before moving”, so as not to saturate the emergency services.

Wearing a mask

In a press conference at the end of the Council of Ministers, the government spokesman recalled the fact that “each of us” can “act by carrying the masque and by respecting barrier gestures when we are in the presence of many people or when we believe that there is a risk of spreading the virus.


He pointed out that being “up-to-date on our vaccine reminders“helped in this sense and that it was” not too late to get vaccinated against the flu, far from it, in the same way to receive reminders of the covid vaccine”.

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