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News > France

France in Emergency Due to Children Bronchiolitis Epidemic

  • Pediatric emergency room at a French hospital, 2022.

    Pediatric emergency room at a French hospital, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @OuestFrance

Published 10 November 2022

So far, 6,891 children under two years old have been sent to emergency care wards.

On Wednesday, French Health Minister Francois Braun activated the national emergency response plan to help hospitals cope with soaring bronchiolitis infections among children.


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"I decided this morning to trigger the Emergency Plan to Handle a Sudden Increase in the Number of Hospital Patients (ORSAN) to tackle this epidemic," he said the Senate.

Now each region will get additional resources to ease the strain on pediatric services, which have been overwhelmed by an influx of patients.

According to the French Public Health Agency, the country hasn't seen such a high number of bronchiolitis-related hospitalizations and visits to the emergency care wards for more than 10 years.

The tweet reads, "This significant, early epidemic of bronchiolitis raises concern. Almost 7,000 children were admitted to emergency rooms last week. The emergency plan at the hospital went through the roof."

Among the 6,891 children under two years old sent to the emergency care wards, 6,326 or 92 percent were under one year old, and 2,337 or 34 percent were eventually hospitalized.

It also reported that the northern regions had been the most affected by the bronchiolitis epidemic. The agency said it would continue monitoring the occurrence of bronchiolitis cases in children under the age of two.

Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in young children and infants due to inflammation and congestion in small airways of the lungs causing coughs and difficulty breathing. 

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