According to figures from Brussels ministers Alain Maron and Elke Van den Brandt, the Belgian capital has three to four times more new cases of tuberculosis than the rest of the country, with asylum seekers especially affected.
Belgium’s average rate of the disease is 8.6 per 100,000 people but in Brussels, the rate is 29.5 cases per 100,000, with the city representing 36 per cent of all new tuberculosis (TB) cases in the country that year. The numbers have been steadily rising since 2014.
The data came at the request of MP Bianca Debaets, a member of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party (CD-V), who told the media: “Of course, an urban context always increases the risk of certain diseases, but the fact that a third of the cases reported in Belgium are concentrated in Brussels is significant.”
Ms Debaets noted the high prevalence of the disease among asylum seekers living in the capital, saying: “Between July 2017 and May 2019, 45 cases of tuberculosis were diagnosed among refugees in Maximilian Park.”
Researchers Find New Drug-Resistant Strain of Tuberculosis in Asylum Seekers https://t.co/rWlvzFuxm6
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 19, 2018
Health professionals in Europe have noted for years that TB has been a real problem among migrant populations entering various countries across the continent.
In 2015, Dr Masoud Dara of the World Health Organization (WHO) told Breitbart London that up to 80 per cent of TB cases in European countries were among migrant populations.
“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, are more likely to have the disease,” he said.
In Germany in 2017, an asylum seeker who visited children at a kindergarten tested positive for TB, leading parents and others to fear he may have infected as many as 18 children with the preventable disease.
As migrant numbers begin to surge again, many are fearful that they will not only have high rates of diseases like tuberculosis or scabies but will also be carriers for coronavirus.
Italy has seen dozens of new migrants test positive for the Chinese virus, leading to fears of a second wave of outbreaks.
Brussels ‘Boat Mafia’ Trafficking Migrants to Britain, Record 4,000 Illegals Have Arrived in 2020 https://t.co/eFr5NZ6Xeo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 11, 2020