Flu and intestinal gastroenteritis have invaded the Languedoc  Roussillon yet again.

Perpignan is amongst ten other cities in France, including Paris and Toulouse, to have exceeded the usual average at this time of year for the annual epidemic of gastroenteritis!

Grippe flu

With 332 cases reported per 100,000 inhabitants last year, (8 more than the norm required to declare an epidemic) the Roussillon holds the dubious honour of first place in France, with the highest incidence rate observed in Perpignan – 634 cases per 100 000 inhabitants The epidemic is expected to peak over the next couple of weeks.

The Roussillon has been one of the highest regions statistically in the gastro-enteritis stakes for several years, and well up in the top ten for chickenpox proving beyond all doubt that we really are a region which has everything!!

Grippe flu

START OF THE FLU SEASON

The vaccination campaign against seasonal flu continues.

The health service recommends the jab for over-65s and for those with health problems that could make them more vulnerable to the bug (heart or lung problems etc).

If you are amongst the above, you will probably receive or already have received  a letter recommending the injection, along with a ‘prise en charge’ voucher for free vaccination.

If you have already received this free vaccination in the past, you need only take the voucher to the chemist and make an appointment with a local doctor, nurse or vet (joking) to administer it.

If this is the first  time, you will need to see your doctor beforehand, armed with your voucher, so that he or she can be sure that the vaccine is suitable for you.

You are advised to organise your injection BEFORE the flu season starts. After vaccination, the body actually needs 2 weeks to form the necessary antibodies.

The HCSP (Haut conseil de la santé publique) also recommends vaccinations for pregnant women regardless of term and obese people with a body mass index greater than or equal to 40.

For those who do not qualify for the free injection (note that the usual percentage is still reimbursed by the state), simply buy your own vaccine at the chemist for around 7 euros and make an appointment with a local doctor or a district nurse to administer it. Anybody can do this. You do not have to have a carte vitale.

Many chemists will also now administer the injection.

Visit www.grippenet.fr for more information, news of regional epidemics etc.

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