26/10/2016: A high incidence for the season far off an epidemic peak
The number of cases of gastroenteritis regularly increases from early September, and on 24 October, the IAS® OpenHealth value was 124. This is a record value for the season; the values for the last six years for this day of the year were between 94 and 113. However, we are still far off the values seen in an epidemic peak. Over the last six years the maximum values were between 142 and 255. It is remarkable that all the peaks were seen between 27 December and the first of January. The OpenHealth forecasts are that the 2016-2017 gastroenteritis epidemic will without doubt be very high and will peak at the end of December.
These forecasts are based on a model which takes all pharmacy purchases into account, whether they are on prescription or on the advice of a pharmacist. The OpenHealth analysis can therefore differ from those of the networks that are only based on general practitioner observations (Sentinelles and IRSAN); in fact it is known that the arbitrage of patients between a visit to a doctor and an off-prescription purchase varies over the year. In particular, doctor visits are proportionally lower during school holidays which can lead to some methods underestimating the epidemic peak during these periods, a peak observed by OpenHealth.