There is no threat of an epidemic in Hungary in connection with the influx of migrants and there is no evidence that they are spreading pathogens, Hungary’s health authority (ÁNTSZ) is quoted as saying by the Hungarian news agency MTI.
There is, nevertheless, an
epidemiological issue, given that the health status of the migrants is unknown
and different health regulations apply in their country of origin, an ÁNTSZ official
told the government-run news channel M1 on Monday, adding that the Hungarian
population is safe, largely thanks to the high rate of vaccination.
The migrants are usually
infected with syphilis, hepatitis (B or C), or HIV virus, but these illnesses
are transmitted sexually or through blood, so close contact is necessary for
someone to get infected. The volunteers helping the immigrants are not in
danger if they adhere to regulations and use appropriate protective gear as
well as washing their hands with disinfectant, the official pointed out.
It is difficult to examine the
migrants, though. ÁNTSZ is legally obliged to screen asylum-seekers. So far,
only 500 people, a fraction of the 14,000 migrants who have been called in,
have shown up. Moreover, later they “disappear” as well, so the idea of holding
them during the examinations somewhere they cannot leave is worth considering,
the ÁNTSZ official added.
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