Estimating the burden of SARS-CoV-2 in France

08 May 2020

The RECOVER Epidemiological and Modelling Study team has produced a paper on the impact of the French lockdown on the SARS-CoV-2 transmission using various sources of data (Salje et al. 2020).

Data that were relied on include:
1. Passive hospital surveillance in France;
2. Active surveillance in Princess Diamond;
3. Serosurveys and studies in specific locations.

Using models applied to hospital and death data, the team estimated the impact of the lockdown and current population immunity in France. The study elucidated the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe outcomes by age and sex and estimate the current proportion of the national and regional populations that have been infected and might be at least temporarily immune.

The French government has announced it will ease restrictions on the 11 May 2020. In order to appropriately exit from the lockdown, there is a need to understand the underlying level of population immunity and infection, identify those most at risk for severe disease, and the impact of current control efforts. By 11 May, when interventions are scheduled to be eased, a projection of 3.7 million people in France, 5.7% of the population, will have been infected.

Population immunity appears insufficient to avoid a second wave if all control measures are released at the end of the lockdown.

Read the peer-reviewed article here.

Authors: Henrik Salje, Cecile Tran Kiem, Noemie Lefrancq, Noemie Courtejoie, Paolo Bosetti, Juliette Paireau, Alessio Andronico, Nathanael Hoze, Jehanne Richet, Claire-Lise Dubost, Yann Le Strat, Justin Lessler, Daniel Levy Bruhl, Arnaud Fontanet, Lulla Opatowski, Pierre-Yves Boelle, Simon Cauchemez

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