The bronchiolitis epidemic is here, even arriving a little earlier than usual. In Île-de-France, the situation is such that the region has entered “into an epidemic phase” this week, according to Public Health France.
“The bronchiolitis epidemic could be of great magnitude”, had also recently warned in its last opinion the Scientific Council, which guides the French government. In fact, after being placed under cover due to Covid-19 last year, the countries of the northern hemisphere are preparing for this winter for a possible rebound of bronchiolitis, a respiratory disease that affects babies and can sometimes lead them. to the hospital.
Last winter, confinements and anti-Covid barrier gestures had indeed blocked viruses, including RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), responsible for bronchiolitis. But this year, the children were less infected than usual, and therefore have less immunity. The French Scientific Council thus notes a “significant acquired collective immunity deficit for children born after March 2020”.
An epidemic that affects all of France
The Île-de-France region as well as that of the Grand Est have therefore been placed “in an epidemic phase”, since the virus is now actively circulating there. It should also be noted that the whole country is concerned, since the 10 other French regions have also been placed in “pre-epidemic phase”, while the number of cases continues to increase.
As a reminder, bronchiolitis is an epidemic respiratory disease due mainly to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which mainly affects children before the age of 2 years. Each winter, 30% of infants under 2 are affected.
In the vast majority of cases, bronchiolitis is benign and develops favorably, spontaneously. The most common symptom of bronchiolitis is nasal congestion (mild cough, moderate fever).