Soon the return of a bronchiolitis epidemic? According to the latest figures from Public Health France (SpF), an increase in “early” activity linked to bronchiolitis is observed.
SpF in fact reports an increase in activity on “all syndromic surveillance indicators”, mainly concerning “SOS doctors medical procedures”, “emergency visits” as well as “hospitalizations after emergency visits for bronchiolitis” . Each year, this disease caused by a respiratory infection is the leading cause of visits to pediatric emergencies.
SpF insists in its point on the “early” nature of this increase in activity. A “situation comparable to those observed the two years prior to the same period”. 1064 children under the age of two were seen in the emergency room for bronchiolitis during week 38 (September 18 to 24). 955 (90%) were aged less than 1 year and 356 (33%) were hospitalized. Among the 356 children hospitalized, 331 (93%) were aged less than 1 year.
While in 2019 at the same period, the number of visits to the emergency room of children under two years old for bronchiolitis was below the 1000 case mark. According to SpF figures, France is currently a month ahead in terms of increased activity linked to bronchiolitis. The Ministry of Health website indicates that seasonal epidemics of bronchiolitis generally begin in mid-October and end at the end of winter, with a peak in December.
SpF nevertheless specifies that this activity, although certainly increasing, still remains at a “low level in mainland France as well as in the overseas departments and regions”. Guadeloupe and Martinique still moved into the “pre-epidemic phase” during the week of September 18 to 24, 2023.