Between the Covid and the heat wave, the summer of 2022 was deadly

In a report published recently, Santé Publique France estimates that around 10,420 excess deaths occurred during the summer of 2022. In question: high temperatures and Covid-19.

The summer of 2022 was difficult: according to the Heat wave and health report published on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 by Public Health France, 10,420 excess deaths (i.e.: additional to the expected figures) were recorded between June and September.

Main culprit, according to the health authorities: the heat wave. In total, the summer of 2022 will have been marked by 3 heat waves, in particular in the departments on the Atlantic coast, in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and in the South of France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Occitania). These 3 periods of high heat alone caused 2,816 excess deaths in France: unsurprisingly, it was above all the age group over 75 who suffered the most.

In addition, 7 fatal work accidents “possibly related to heat“have been recorded by the General Directorate of Labour: these have mainly occurred in people working outside, in the field of construction.

Heat wave and Covid-19 have probably maintained each other

But it’s not just the heat wave: the Covid-19 epidemic (which is not over, contrary to what one might think…) has also contributed to this excess mortality. Thus, as Public Health France points out, 894 deaths linked to the Covid-19 epidemic were recorded in hospitals and in medico-social establishments during the 3 heat wave episodes.

Le Covid-19 “may have increased vulnerability to heat for some people, and heat exposure may have worsened the condition of some patients with Covid-19“.

This report underlines the importance of anticipating the impact of heat before periods of heat wave and thus reinforces the need for a strategy of adaptation and mitigation to climate change reinforced everywhere on the territory.“conclude the health authorities.

Source : Heat wave and health report: a summer marked by multiple climatic phenomena and a significant health impact

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