Austria’s government is continuing to cover up the names of schools suffering outbreaks of Tuberculosis (TB) in the name of community cohesion, even as a 14-year-old immigrant girl living in Tyrol is revealed to have been killed by the preventable disease.
Considered practically extinct in the United Kingdom and rapidly dwindling elsewhere in Europe by the end of the 20th century, Tuberculosis is now staging a comeback among the continent’s impoverished migrant communities and putting others at risk. In Austria, the rates of new infections more than halved between 2004 and 2010, but have been rising since. Many, if not most of the new cases are among the migrant population: in 2013, the rate of infections imported from abroad outnumbered domestic cases for the first time.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart London, Dr. Masoud Dara of the World Health Organisation confirmed that in some European countries up to 80 per cent of all TB cases were found within migrant populations, but refused to comment on whether it was mass migration itself that was causing rates of infection in Austria to rise. He said:
“Our major concern is Tuberculosis in former Soviet Union countries. We have huge inequalities in Tuberculosis rates in both Western and Eastern European countries, where TB is mainly seen in migrant populations. In most low incidence countries [Western European nations], over 80 per cent of TB cases are among migrants”.
“The migrant population, especially if they are coming from Sub-Saharan African countries where TB infection rates are quite high – in some countries it is as high as 1,000 per 100,000 head of population [in contrast, Austria is 8 per 100,000], are more likely to have the disease”.
It emerged yesterday that an entire school class, along with staff, friends, and family of the deceased girl, a native of Muslim-majority Chechnya were being screened for Tuberculosis after she passed away at the end of May reports TheLocal.at. Mixed messages were emerging from Innsbruck yesterday, as the headmaster of the school insisted that parents need not worry, while a senior doctor from the regional health department told journalists “the risk of infection is high”, and that the girl had a particularly rare and severe form of the disease.
Tests on those potentially affected won’t be complete for twelve weeks.
The Austrian government has declined requests to reveal where other school infections are, citing data protection laws because they fear the revelation that TB is emerging in particular communities could lead to “social exclusion”. There are known to be at least three outbreaks in the capital Vienna alone.
The Eurosceptic, anti-immigration Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) has repeatedly warned against the dangers posed by a sudden influx of vaccinated people to Austria, who could potentially carry with them diseases otherwise erradicated in Europe such as Tuberculosis. An FPO article from 2013 outlines how Austria had just seen its first clases of Polio since 1980, after a group of four Syrian migrants arrived in the country.