The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published ‘Public health guidance on screening and vaccination for infectious diseases in newly arrived migrants within the EU/EEA’ which provides scientific advice, based on an evidence-based assessment of targeted public health interventions, to facilitate effective screening and vaccination for priority infectious diseases among newly arrived migrant populations to the EU/EEA.
Migrants do not generally pose a health threat to the host population. However, some subgroups of migrants, including refugees, asylum seekers, and irregular migrants, are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases and may have worse health outcomes than the host population. In a number of EU/EEA Member States, subgroups of migrant populations are disproportionately affected by infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, and hepatitis B and C.
The report suggests that it is likely to be both effective and cost-effective to screen child, adolescent and adult migrants for active and latent tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, strongyloidiasis and schistosomiasis. It also suggests that there is a clear benefit to enrolling migrants in vaccination programmes and ensuring catch-up vaccination where needed.
Source: ECDC, 5 December 2018