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Alberer, Martin; Malinowski, Svea; Sanftenberg, Linda; Schelling, Jörg (2018): Notifiable infectious diseases in refugees and asylum seekers: experience from a major reception center in Munich, Germany. In: Infection, Vol. 46, No. 3: pp. 375-383
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Abstract

In 2016, the number of refugees worldwide reached 65.6 million. So far, only limited data are available on the health status of refugees and asylum seekers (RAs). Especially, notifiable infectious diseases (NIDs) carry the risk of outbreaks in communal accommodations hosting RAs. We conducted a monocentric retrolective cross-sectional study including 15,137 RAs treated in a special health care unit for RAs located in the major reception center in Munich from November 2014 to October 2016. Altogether 811 RAs with NIDs according to sections 6 and 7 of the German Infection Protection Act or with other infections relevant in the setting of a communal accommodation (RIDs) could be identified. The gender and age distribution was generally comparable to that of refugees in Germany. However, patients from East Africa and Nigeria were significantly overrepresented. NIDs/RIDs were dominated by cases of tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and vaccine-preventable and parasitic diseases. Significant risk factors included country of origin (COI) and age for hepatitis B, age for hepatitis C, gender and age for HIV, and COI, gender and age for tuberculosis and ectoparasitosis. Calculated prevalences of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV were mostly below those of the COI. Incidences of tuberculosis were mostly strongly elevated. COI, gender, and age have an impact on the occurrence of NIDs/RIDs. Early vaccinations and improved hygiene could be effective in preventing NIDs/RIDs in communal accommodations. Screening, prompt therapy, and infection protection measures are necessary to prevent the transmission of diseases.