France is grappling with a new Covid-19 Pandemic amid soaring summer temperatures in the northern hemisphere.
The infections on the rise are caused by a subvariant of omicron, the EG.5.1 strain, called Eris, which spreads in countries of western Europe, the United States and Asia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is monitoring this new subtype of the coronavirus, which causes high fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and tiredness.
As Eris spreads among French people and tourists, visits to emergency rooms have increased in several regions of the country. Doctors and scientists say they are not surprised by this return of Covid-19, as the summer season is marked by street parties, concerts, weddings, among other activities that bring together a significant number of people.
It is already known that agglomerations are favorable to the transmission of viruses. In the case of Covid-19, at the moment, contagion is facilitated by the drop in global immunity provided by vaccines, which decreases over time, and the less frequent use of face protection masks.
The first signs of the new Covid-19 Pandemic appeared after the Bayonne Festivities, in the French Basque Country (southwest). The traditional multi-day celebration drew 1.3 million people in early August.
During the event, pharmacies and doctors’ offices in the region recorded an increase in demand for patients with flu symptoms. Many people were surprised by a positive result for Covid-19.
On Wednesday (9), the disease returned to the list of the ten most frequent diagnoses of the SOS Médicos network, according to the national public health agency (Santé Publique France).
There are suspicions that this new subvariant of omicron is more contagious than its predecessors. In the monitoring bulletin published yesterday by the authorities, visits to the emergency room for suspected Covid-19 were up 56% among children under two years of age and 34% among adults.
The regions of the country with the highest number of positive cases are Pays de la Loire (+210%), followed by Normandy (+71%).
In an interview with the newspaper Le Parisienthe epidemiologist Mircea Sofonea, from the University of Montpellier (south), says that France is registering an incontestable resumption of the Pandemic.
He attributes this picture to the combination of three factors: immunological decline, viral evolution related to new mutations and summer clusters. Hospitals are not overloaded, according to the doctor, but it is necessary to remain vigilant and adopt preventive measures to avoid a worsening of the situation in the autumn.