Pneumonia epidemic: how is the disease transmitted?

Verified on 12/12/2023 by Alexane Flament, Editor
Épidémie de pneumopathie : comment la maladie se transmet-elle ?

On November 30, Santé Publique France took stock of the pneumonia epidemic currently raging in France.

In this latest report, the organization revealed thatunusual increases inMycoplasma pneumoniae respiratory infections were reported in week 47.

In addition, she added that emergency room visits linked to pneumopathy have been on the increase since the beginning of October, and accelerated at the beginning of November, particularly in the 6-15 and 16-49 age groups. SOS Médecin also reported a similar trend.

According to the Santé Publique France report, the country recorded a higher number of cases in these age groups in autumn 2023 compared with the same period in 2019 and 2022. Other European countries, such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway and Ireland, report a similar situation. Explanations.

How do pneumopathies spread?

Before explaining how pneumopathies are transmitted, it’s important to stress that the current epidemic mainly concerns community-acquired or infectious pneumopathies .

In the case of the latter, transmission takes place via the respiratory route, via droplets generated when coughing or sneezing, or by direct contact with a person carrying the infection.

Good to know: The incubation period is between one and three weeks.

Pneumopathies, caused by pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites, attack the lung, triggering inflammatory reactions as the body seeks to defend itself.

In this case, the pulmonary alveoli fill with pus and inflammatory fluid, causing symptoms. Symptoms include cough or sore throat, fever, chills, fatigue and shortness of breath, sometimes accompanied by chest pain.

It’s important not to confuse pneumopathy and pneumonia with acute bronchitis, which only attacks the bronchial tubes.

Infectious lung diseases are also distinct from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), a chronic disease of the bronchi and lungs, mainly associated with smoking.

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How can I avoid contracting pneumonia?

To minimize the spread of the epidemic, it is essential toadopt simple barrier measures. Wearing a mask in the event of symptoms is strongly recommended, especially when visiting crowded places or in the presence of frail, elderly people or children.

It’s just as important towash your hands regularly with soap and water, or a hydro-alcoholic solution if necessary. Make sure you sneeze into your elbow. Air your home several times a day, even for just a few minutes.