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Nearly 3,000 die in France from flu epidemic

France — Nearly 3,000 people have died in France from the flu epidemic that hit the nation in early December.

Recent figures have been released by Santé Publique that indicates to date, the virus has claimed the lives of 2,850 people from early December to the first week of January.

In its weekly epidemiological bulletin, Public Health France notes, “In view of the provisional figures of all-cause excess mortality and deaths attributable to influenza observed at this stage of the epidemic, the excess mortality observed during this season should be lower than that of the previous season.”

They have added that a final assessment will be made at the end of the winter, however at present, approximately 90 percent of the deaths are among people aged 65 and over. Some of the deceased have also included children, with the report noting the average age of those infected is 40.

Public Health France says that by the end of January, all indicators seem to point toward the end of the epidemic adding that all the regions of metropolitan France are still in the epidemic phase.

The deadly strain H3N2 hit Australia earlier in the winter with the Health & Safety Executive revealing a number of people having died from the virus. The strain then quickly spread to the UK infecting more than 4.5 million Brits according to FluSurvey website.

From there it spread to France where to date, 2,850 deaths have been reported from the virus.

Dr. Daniel Levy-Bruhl, head of the respiratory infections unit at the French National Agency for Public Health said in regards to the H3N2, “This virus does not usually attack the lungs directly, as would the [far more dangerous] H1N1 virus. Rather, it can lead to complications in people who already have serious health conditions.”

Public Health says that the A(H3N2), named the French Flu, can lead to bacterial infections or worsen existing conditions, such as heart disease and respiratory problems.