Sore throat, runny nose … “Lille disease”, a new variant of Covid-19 or collective hallucination?

For almost three weeks now, hundreds of Northerners have said they have sore throats, loss of voice, a runny nose or difficulty sleeping. The phenomenon has grown to such an extent that it has become the first topic of discussion when you walk into a café, at work, and on social networks in the Lille region.

There are nearly 10,000 messages exchanged on this subject on Twitter for example. And in the streets of Lille, it did not take two minutes to meet people suffering from this mysterious disease.

“I had a sore throat, a runny nose, sneezing … We talk about it everywhere, in bars in clubs, nobody knows where it comes from. There are a lot of rumors going around. C is not reassuring at all “.

Some inhabitants even speak of a “Lille variant”

We put the question to the doctors. All are clear, the vast majority of patients tested are negative for Covid. It is therefore not a new Lille variant.

But this is not a collective hallucination either, confirms Doctor Antonio Cuenca, who consults for SOS Médecins. Since the beginning of the month, he has been overwhelmed with sick people.

“There are + 30% of passages compared to the usual September. We mainly see seasonal viruses. Colds, tonsillitis, minor flu-like symptoms. There is no psychosis to have.”

What this doctor is telling us, in fact, is that we have somewhat forgotten that in the fall, there are small viruses circulating. These viruses, which usually spread around the fall, did not thrive last year.

“The famous ‘Lille disease’ would not worry anyone in normal times. But now that everyone is a virologist …”

We wore masks, we were then confined and the fall temperatures were rather above seasonal norms. But this is less the case this year. We must therefore return to reason pleads Philippe Froguel, he is a professor of medicine at the University of Lille.

“The famous ‘Lille disease’ would not worry anyone in normal times. But now that everyone is a virologist, as soon as there is a crooked fart or a sore throat we think it could be the Covid. people worry and invent this new disease. “

Professor Froguel even speaks of a “Solferino-pharyngitis”, named after rue Solférino in Lille: the street where students meet … to drink glasses until late at night, and catch these small nasopharyngitis.

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