Migrants arriving in E.U. increase risk of spreading disease

Migrants arriving in EU increase risk of spreading malaria and other diseases | Courtesy of
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recently reported that the arrival of migrants in the European Union increases the risk of importing and spreading malaria as well as other vector-borne illnesses.

The health officials said that malaria and other vector-borne illnesses within mobile populations, like refugees, migrants, and travelers is common. They warned that diseases will spread throughout the E.U. with the arrival of an overwhelming number of migrants.

The risk of these diseases spreading depends on a variety of factors, such as the season, the presence of competent vectors, vector control measures at all borders, settlement areas, transit measures, health promotion at borders, and access to a variety of health services.

Health officials are especially concerned about the spread of malaria, schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis. Competent vectors for these illnesses are already present within certain E.U. countries, especially in the southern portion of the nation. Fortunately vector activity is usually low during winter, but louse-borne illnesses will be an ongoing concern.

Health experts agree that transmission for the spring and summer of 2016 will be high. During these seasons, environmental conditions will be more conducive to illnesses spreading, particularly if migration rates continue as they are today.

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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control SE-171 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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