An asylum seeker diagnosed with tuberculosis who visited a kindergarten several times in Bünsdorf, Germany, may have infected as many as 18 children and four adults with the disease.
The migrant, originally from Yemen, spent five months from January to May in the community, meeting families and spending time at a local kindergarten. Brought to Bünsdorf by the local church, the man is said to have had an infectious case of tuberculosis and children aged three to six may be affected, leaving parents outraged, Eckernförderung Zeitung reports.
The man was given asylum in a church hall in the town and the kindergarten is located next door. In June, the man showed signs of the disease and an investigation was carried out to find if children and staff had been infected.
Christin Hettich from the Health Office held an information hearing earlier this week when it was found the bacterial form of tuberculosis diagnosed in the Yemeni man was highly contagious.
“Tuberculosis is a disaster for the sick and the community,” said local pastor Thies Feldmann. The pastor said it was not unusual the Yemeni had access to the kindergarten and youth groups in the church.
Some parents are outraged the migrant had such access to their children with one saying: “We have to sign for each individual, and we are informed about every new trainee – but a stranger is allowed to enter and leave the kindergarten?”
Since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, various European countries are seeing a rise in many diseases including ones long thought vanquished from the continent.
Recently in the French capital of Paris, NGOs working with migrants living in makeshift camps on the cities streets said they had seen a drastic rise in scabies cases. Scabies has the potential to lead to more harmful diseases including antibiotic-resistant superinfections.
Late last year in a migrant camp in Bulgaria, 128 migrants in a camp of 3,000 were diagnosed with various serious illnesses, including smallpox, forcing the camp to keep migrants from leaving the facility. The situation inflamed the already tense atmosphere at the camp which led to a large-scale riot involving hundreds of migrant men.
Amongst Syrians fleeing the civil war, an even more horrific flesh-eating disease spread amongst the migrant camps bordering the country. The disease, known as leishmaniasis, is said to affect hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in the region.