Rapid communication Open Access
Like 0


Several French regions where coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been reported currently show a renewed increase in ILI cases in the general practice-based network. We computed the number of excess cases by region from 24 February to 8 March 2020 and found a correlation with the number of reported COVID-19 cases so far. The data suggest larger circulation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the French population than apparent from confirmed cases.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Souty C, Amoros P, Falchi A, Capai L, Bonmarin I, van der Werf S, et al. Influenza epidemics observed in primary care from 1984 to 2017 in France: A decrease in epidemic size over time. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2019;13(2):148-57.  https://doi.org/10.1111/irv.12620  PMID: 30428158 
  2. Sentinelles R. French GPs Sentinelles network > Public Health Surveillance > Database. Paris: Sorbonne Université. [Accessed: 7 Apr 2020]. Available from: http://www.sentiweb.fr/france/en/?page=database
  3. Bernard Stoecklin S, Rolland P, Silue Y, Mailles A, Campese C, Simondon A, et al. First cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in France: surveillance, investigations and control measures, January 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(6):2000094.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.6.2000094  PMID: 32070465 
  4. Souty C, Masse S, Valette M, Behillil S, Bonmarin I, Pino C, et al. Baseline characteristics and clinical symptoms related to respiratory viruses identified among patients presenting with influenza-like illness in primary care. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019;25(9):1147-53.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2019.01.014  PMID: 30703528 
  5. Costagliola D, Flahault A, Galinec D, Garnerin P, Menares J, Valleron AJ. A routine tool for detection and assessment of epidemics of influenza-like syndromes in France. Am J Public Health. 1991;81(1):97-9.  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.81.1.97  PMID: 1983924 
  6. Hsieh Y-H, Ma S, Velasco Hernandez JX, Lee VJ, Lim WY. Early outbreak of 2009 influenza A (H1N1) in Mexico prior to identification of pH1N1 virus. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23853.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0023853  PMID: 21909366 
  7. Santé Publique France. COVID-19 : point épidémiologique du 7 mars 2020. [COVID-19: daily report 7 March 2020]. Saint-Maurice: Sante Publique France; 7 Mar 2020. French. Available from: https://www.santepubliquefrance.fr/maladies-et-traumatismes/maladies-et-infections-respiratoires/infection-a-coronavirus/documents/bulletin-national/covid-19-point-epidemiologique-du-7-mars-2020
  8. Sentinelles R. Weekly report on 03/11/2020, 2020w10 (from 03/02/2020 to 03/08/2020). Weekly epidemiological bulletin for influenza, week 10. Paris: Sorbonne Université. [Accessed: 7 Apr 2020]. Available from http://www.sentiweb.fr/document.php?doc=4844
  9. Cauchemez S, Valleron A-J, Boëlle P-Y, Flahault A, Ferguson NM. Estimating the impact of school closure on influenza transmission from Sentinel data. Nature. 2008;452(7188):750-4.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06732  PMID: 18401408 
  10. Guerrisi C, Turbelin C, Blanchon T, Hanslik T, Bonmarin I, Levy-Bruhl D, et al. Participatory syndromic surveillance of influenza in Europe. J Infect Dis. 2016;214(suppl_4):S386-92.  https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiw280  PMID: 28830105 

Data & Media loading...

Supplementary data

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error