The bronchiolitis epidemic has continued to advance in recent days in France with visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations at unprecedented levels, health authorities stressed on Wednesday, November 9. Faced with this increase in cases that puts pressure on hospital services, the Minister of Health, François Braun, launched the national white plan, provided for in exceptional health situations.
“We are strengthening the means of each region to support caregivers and provide care to children and families”François Braun said on Wednesday.
Facing unprecedented levels of hospitalization for 10 years, caused by the bronchiolitis epidemic, I have a… https://t.co/jGUSkZ9oXF
I decided this morning [mercredi]in addition to everything that has already been mobilized, to launch the ORSAN plan (organization of the response of the health system in exceptional health situations) specific to this epidemic, to further strengthen the means of the ARS (regional health agencies) and allow the entire hospital to focus on this particularly acute problem today.”said the minister in the Senate.
“This does not mean that the white plan has been triggered in all hospitals in France”but only in a “limited number” at this time, said the minister’s entourage.
Created in 2014, the ORSAN system allows “reorganize the supply of care” in hospitals, but also in the city and in the medical-social sector, to “reallocate resources with respect to identified priorities”, indicates the website of the Ministry of Health. This may result in particular “hospital staff reminder” and the “strengthening the permanence of outpatient care”that is, doctors on call at night and on weekends, or even, “if local resources are no longer sufficient”by mobilizing the sanitary reserve.
mr braun “he hopes that this plan will be fully implemented at the regional level, under the authority of the ARS”who can like this “fine-tune hospitalization capabilities” Y “guarantee the full mobilization of all health actors, public and private”the ministry said in a statement.
The regions of the northern half most affected
noticing a “continuous increase” indicators “despite a change in relation to the Toussaint school holidays”Public Health France noted on Wednesday “Very high number of visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations for bronchiolitis and at levels higher than those observed in epidemic peaks for more than ten years”.
A total of 6,891 children under 2 years of age attended the emergency room for bronchiolitis in metropolitan France in the week of October 31 to November 6, that is, a weekly increase of 7%, but much less than the increase of the previous week. (+47%). Ultimately, some 2,337 children were hospitalized. “Hospitalizations for bronchiolitis represent 50% of hospitalizations after an emergency visit in children under two years of age. In comparison, this percentage was around 40% during the peaks of previous seasons.noted Public Health France.
If the entire metropolis is affected, the epidemic generally appears more marked in the regions of the northern half, adds the public health agency in its weekly report, the situation being particularly tense in hospitals in the Ile-de-France region. .
“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, bronchiolitis epidemics were known for their great regularity, with a peak systematically reached around 50me week of the year The pandemic has upset this relative balance.Pascal Crépey, epidemiologist at the Rennes School of Advanced Studies in Public Health, exposes to AFP.
After a weaker circulation of the main virus causing bronchiolitis in 2020, the 2021 epidemic began in early October in France, in a context of the end of lockdowns. “The 2022 epidemic seems to be shaping up like last year’s for its start,” but it is still difficult to determine if the peak is approaching, according to Pascal Crépey.
On the side of French public health, the epidemiologist Sophie Vaux “I hope it keeps going up” and does not exclude that “the weekly rate rises once the effect of the holidays has passed”.
Bronchiolitis, which mainly affects young children, is a very common illness and most of the time it is not serious. But its symptoms are spectacular and can sometimes be complicated to the point of requiring hospitalization. This epidemic has hit pediatric emergency services plunged into a crisis linked to unsatisfactory working conditions and lack of staff.
this epidemic “still on the rise”has “It initially surprised the health system, which is forced to reorganize”government spokesman Olivier Véran said on Sunday. Since mid-September, thirty-eight children in pediatric intensive care have been transferred from Ile-de-France to other regions.
Faced with this crisis and under pressure from caregivers, the Minister of Health, François Braun, announced last week new measures to help pediatric services, for a total amount of around 400 million euros. He then he recognized a “Worrying situation” in hospitals, linked to an epidemic of bronchiolitis “disturbing”.
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