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In the end of August 2009, an unusually elevated level of influenza-like illness (ILI) activity was reported to the French Sentinel Network. We quantified the observed excess in ILI cases in France during summer 2009 and characterised age patterns in reported cases. An excess of cases has been observed since 5 July, with a time increasing trend. The cumulated estimated excess number of ILI cases was 269,935 [179,585; 316,512], corresponding to 0.5% French population over the period. Compared to the same period in the past years, relative cumulated incidence was greater among young subjects and lower among subjects over 65 years-old. Compared to past epidemics, the relative cumulated incidence was greater in children less than five years-old. This excess of cases may reflect the current spread of the A(H1N1) virus in France, subject to the following limitations: estimates were based on clinical cases consulting a GP; large media coverage may have led to a non specific increase in consultation rates.


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