Diphtheria, Tuberculosis, And Malaria: European Hospitals Prepare for Influx of Migrant Diseases

Migrant Diseases
Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

Hospitals in Europe have been warned that newly-arrived migrants may bring with them diseases that have been eradicated in the country for several decades.

The Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) has warned hospitals to be on the lookout for signs of diphtheria, an illness that has not been seen in Denmark for 20 years, after two Libyan migrants tested position for the disease.

“The infection can be very dangerous if one isn’t vaccinated against it. The dangerous type is very rare and we last saw it in Denmark in 1998,” spokesman Kurt Fuursted said.

Danish newspaper Metroxpress also reported that other asylum seekers had also been found to be carrying tuberculosis and malaria, prompting the SSI to comment that Denmark may start introducing mandatory health checks for migrants.

“There is no doubt that infectious diseases are coming in with the refugees that we aren’t used to. There have been discussions on whether all refugees who come to Denmark should be screened,” Mr Fuursted added.

The Local reports that Health Minister Sophie Lunde has confirmed immigration officials will discuss a change in policy with the country’s Health and Medicines Authority. As well as screening, Denmark could also introduce mandatory vaccinations for migrants.

Breitbart London reported this weekend how London is now the tuberculosis capital of Europe thanks to mass migration. In 2014, for example, the city saw 2,500 new cases, a higher rate than most nations’ totals, including Iraq, Rwanda and Algeria.

The University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory has previously said: “There is evidence that the highest rates of TB among migrants occur among people who are recent arrivals in the UK, possibly reflecting prevalence rates in countries of origin, but less than a half are diagnosed within five years of arrival.”

This opinion is echoed by Dr Onkar Sahota, chair of the London Assembly Health Committee, who said there is a “clear link between TB and migration” and found 80 per cent of sufferers in London were born abroad.

Commenting on Dr Sahota’s findings, London City Hall said: “The Mayor takes the issue of TB seriously and recognises that it is a significant health challenge for London.

“Recent figures show that, in the three years to 2014, the number of people infected in the capital has fallen but the Mayor remains committed to tackling TB and is assured by Public Health England that every effort continues to be made to prevent and treat the disease in London.”

Follow Nick Hallett on Twitter: or e-mail to: nhallett@breitbart.com


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