A special migrant train running from Austria to Germany was intercepted by Federal Police in Munich earlier this week, after authorities were alerted to a passenger with a severe case of tuberculosis.
The train carrying the passenger with tuberculosis was running from Freilassing on the Austrian border to its destination of Berlin when its journey was interrupted in Munich, reports German newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Federal Police in Munich have revealed the train was stopped at Munich-Pasing train station in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Authorities had been tipped off by migrant support workers that one of the 150 passengers had a severe cough which could represent a contagious lung disease.
The man, who had been given a surgical mask on the train, was removed for safety reasons and transferred to hospital. There it was confirmed that he was suffering from open tuberculosis.
In the confusion surrounding the ongoing migrant crisis it is unclear where the man, whose nationality is unknown, was infected. German authorities are now trying to reconstruct his journey and clarify with whom he had contact.
Relatively rare in Germany, tuberculosis is caught by the inhalation of infected droplet nuclei often spread by coughs and sneezes and can be fatal if left untreated.
In Asian and African countries the disease is widespread. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that although treatable with extensive use of antibiotics, of the nine million or so cases reported globally each year around 1.4 million sufferers die from the consequences.
Tuberculosis used to be relatively common in Western European countries but health authorities had successfully limited its impact. In recent years it has seen something of a resurgence.
As Breitbart London reported in the autumn, a report from the London Assembly showed a third of London boroughs now exceed the WHO’s “high incidence” threshold of tuberculosis which is 40 incidents per 100,000 people, and some wards within Hounslow, Brent, Harrow, Newham and Ealing have rates of more than 150 per 100,000.
By way of contrast, Iraq (45 per 100,000), Rwanda (69) and Eritrea (92) have far fewer recorded cases.
In past investigations it was estimated that half those afflicted by tuberculosis in the borough of Newham were asylum seekers from India, Bangladesh and sub-Saharan Africa. Most were said to arrive carrying the bug in its latent form, but develop symptoms in overcrowded housing conditions.
Germany’s migrant reception centres all conduct compulsory tuberculosis screening programmes for new arrivals.