Illegal Immigrants & TB

The Regional Health Board (SAS) has activated a protocol for infectious diseases after detecting cases of tuberculosis amongst illegal immigrants.

A crowded boat of mostly Sub-Saharan Africans had been rescued at sea after drifting several days and brought into Málaga Port, where these cases were detected. There were two cases amongst the 90 passengers.

Since then the Servicio de Epidemiología has alerted all professionals that had contact with the passengers in the open boat brought in on the 13th of last month, including the police officers, lawyers, Red Cross personnel and the Maritime Rescue crew involved. All of them were instructed to proceed to a full medical examination, and if necessary, tests for tuberculosis and subsequent treatment.

However, to contract tuberculosis from somebody who is already infected with pulmonary tuberculosis (a stage where the patient has live bacillus in their saliva), it is necessary to have prolonged contact. However, people with latent TB do not spread the disease.

To quote Wikipedia on the subject: “As of 2018 one-quarter of the world’s population is thought to be infected with TB. New infections occur in about 1% of the population each year In 2017, there were more than 10 million cases of active TB which resulted in 1.6 million deaths. This makes it the number one cause of death from an infectious disease.”

(News: Andalucia)

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