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France

Gastro-enteritis epidemic sweeps France

Reuters/Mariana Bazo

An epidemic of gastro-enteritis is sweeping France, hot on the heels of a flu epidemic that has seen over 500,000 people consult their doctor.

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In the last two weeks 474,000 people are reported to have visited the doctor for acute diarrhoea, that’s 410 per 100,000, well over the 283 per 100,000 definition of an epidemic.

The worst affected areas are the Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon in south-west France.

Doctors expect the number of cases of acute diarrhoea to start going down next week.

Experts identified the virulent norovirus as the cause of the majority of cases of gastro-enteritis among people over five-years-old in France in 2012.

The flu epidemic has affected even more people, 545,000 last week and 297 per 100,000.

It is at its worst in the central Auvergne region, where 597 per 100,000 people have visited the doctor for symptoms.

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