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Immigration and infectious disease: Irelands policy?


Éireann go Brách

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Immigration and infectious disease: Irelands policy?

The recent outbreak of tuberculosis in a Cork school has caused great concern in the community.
There is no proof that the infection has been caused by a non-Irish national.
However there is talk on the ground and hints in local media that this is the case( see P.J. Coogans column in cork independent below )
As a result of political correctness and doctor-patient confidentional we may never know.

This thread is not about this case specificly but to start a general debate on
Immigration and Infectious Diseases.
I have included P.J. Coogans piece and a few other links on immigration. and infectious disease
I am not an expert on infectious disease and your health controls so I ask the
the following questions.

What is Irelands policy on Immigration and infectious disease?
  • Do we in Ireland test Immigrants from high risk states for dangerous infectious disease such as HIV/AIDS and TB?
  • If no to above, why not?
  • What do other developed countries do?
  • Is the health of the Irish nation being put at risk by HSE and government incompentence and political correctness?
  • Do we need to tighten immigration health controls?
  • Screen people from high risk states already here?
Talking TB , it's back.
Officially, TB was eradicated in Ireland in the 1970'. Because of the effectiveness of the powerful BCG vaccine, the number of cases of the disease had collapsed to negligible levels. It took more than twenty years to get us to that point. The man who drove the programme was someone who I've always held up there as one of my heroes; the legendary Dr Noel Browne.
He was appointed Minister for Health on his first day in the Dail in 1948, and decided that he was going to eradicate the scourge of TB, or 'consumption', as it was commonly known. It had killed both his parents, and laid him low for a lengthy period as a young man. Browne raided funds raised from the famous Irish Hospital Sweepstake, to first build a string of TB Sanitoria, or care homes around the Country. He then used more Government money, even selling off assets, (current politicians, take note – money used for something other than saving banks) to ensure that everyone, man, woman or child, be they Merchant Prince, or Penniless Pauper, was screened and tested for TB, free of charge. Over the next two decades, the work started by Minister Browne eventually wiped out the disease.
There are now five confirmed TB cases among children at Crab Lane National School in Ballintemple. It's a school I know well, as some of my oldest friends went there. Tests have found another twenty cases of Latent TB. Latent TB is where the bacteria that causes the disease is present in a person’s system, but there are no symptoms; they're not sick. The problem with Latent TB is that it can become active at any time, so these patients also need treatment. The treatment involves at least six months on daily antibiotics. It's a very effective, but long and drawn-out process. Thankfully, Active TB, if it's found, is almost completely curable now, but the bug is a resistant little devil, and it takes a long time to chase it out of the body.
This development at Crab Lane is very serious, and not just in the case of the kids who are actually infected. Their parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, in fact anyone they could have had close contact with over the summer will need to be tested as well, to see if the bug is now in their system. The test is slow, involving at least two clinic visits. The first visit involves a small skin test. You then have to go back 48 hours later to get the results of that, and if it's positive, the next step is a Chest X-Ray. If that's not definitive (which it nearly always is, by the way), there is a blood test, called an IGRA, which gives a definitive result. By the time you read this, my sources tell me it's “highly possible, though not certain”, that other cases will emerge at Crab Lane. Parents are worried, and rightly so, but my information is that the index case – in other words, the person who (quite innocently, of course) brought TB into the school - has been identified. That person’s identity is confidential, and rightly so.
However, this story raises questions that are somewhat uncomfortable to ask, but must be answered. I'll be accused of playing the race card here, but here goes – surely it's time to again consider compulsory screening for certain diseases among people moving here from abroad. TB is still rampant, for example, in parts of Africa and some regions of India. It's also to be found in a number of Eastern European states
We officially got rid of it, in 1972, and now it's back. Is there a link? It certainly looks that way, doesn't it? The number of cases has been steadily, though quietly rising over the past number of years. We need to accept the possibility that the surge in immigration during the boom, and the fact that TB has returned, might go hand in glove, and take action to deal with it. If you go to live in Canada, or Australia, you will be screened for Aids and other things. Why not here?
I await the inevitable barrage of abuse
Talking TB - Cork Independent News

“In Nigeria individual states within the
federation recorded a prevalence up to 12 percent HIV infection, and even the official
figure implied that over three million Nigerians were infected, the largest
number in the continent outside South Africa.


El Mundo said:
Between March and Mid-September 2006, exactly 10,947 illegal immigrants who had
arrived in the Canary Islands have been tested for HIV/Aids, syphilis,
hepatitis B and C. (This was done at the request of the Spanish Interior
Ministry.) A quarter (25 percent) of those who had been tested turned out
to be infected with either of these sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s):
the number of those infected with hepatitis B was 2,288, the number of
those infected with hepatitis C was 235, the number of those infected
with syphilis was 158 and the number of HIV infections was 68.

R. LÓPEZ-VÉLEZ said:
Immigrants from less developed countries to Europe are growing in number and could contribute to the emergence of some infectious diseases. To address this issue, we conducted a descriptive study of 988 immigrants, of whom 79.9% were sub-Saharan Africans and 72% were of undocumented origin. Fever, pruritus, eosinophilia, visceromegaly, and anemia were more frequent in Africans, while a cough was more common Latin Americans (P < 0.005). The most frequent diagnoses were previous hepatitis B (46.5%), latent tuberculosis (44.2%), filariasis (24.8%), infection with intestinal helminths (15.4%), malaria (15.1%), infection with intestinal protozoa (10%), hepatitis C (8.8%), other non-parasitic infections (7.8%), active hepatitis B (7.6%), sexually transmitted diseases (7.5%), active tuberculosis (5.8%), and infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (5.2%). Past and active hepatitis B and C, active tuberculosis, infection with HIV, malaria, and filariasis were more frequent in Africans (P < 0.005). Thirty-two other tropical diseases were also diagnosed.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN IMMIGRANTS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A TROPICAL MEDICINE REFERRAL UNIT -- LÓPEZ-VÉLEZ et al. 69 (1): 115 -- American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
 

The OD

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I don't mean to sound flip, but some might view an influx of disease carrying foreigners to be a practice that originated with European powers and their aggressive, imperialistic empire building and resource stripping policies.

And what's our policy on people coming home from foreign holidays and infectious diseases?

What about a policy on oceans that touch our coast and foreign coasts and infectious diseases?
Not only that, but we sometimes get winds direct from the Sahara. Has no one seriously considered the implications of the migrationary patterns of birds, what if an avian type flu was to cross over to humans? Has no one thought about our bird migrationary controls???
 

Dr Pat

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And what's our policy on people coming home from foreign holidays and infectious diseases?

What about a policy on oceans that touch our coast and foreign coasts and infectious diseases?
Don't try to derail the thread just because you are in favour of mass immigation to Ireland. It is a serious question and merits scrutiny.
 
D

Deleted member 17573

Don't try to derail the thread just because you are in favour of mass immigation to Ireland. It is a serious question and merits scrutiny.
Then deal with and dispose of the issue of Irish people returning from foreign holidays and you can get back to your immigrant bashing:eek:
 

Éireann go Brách

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Messages
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And what's our policy on people coming home from foreign holidays and infectious diseases?

What about a policy on oceans that touch our coast and foreign coasts and infectious diseases?
Department of Foreign Affairs - Before you go

We have a policy on this its called Tropical vaccination

Department of Foreign Affairs - Before you go
TMB - Tropical Medical Bureau - Vaccinations and Health Information for the International Traveller

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS

Before travelling abroad for an extended period, you should consider consulting your doctor to discuss known or possible health risks. This is particularly important if you have an existing medical condition or are visiting a tropical area where the conditions exist for the spread of infectious diseases. If you take medication on a regular basis you should ask your doctor to prescribe an amount adequate for your visit and bring it with you. It is also advisable to bring a letter from your doctor outlining your medical condition and the type of medication you require.

Certain diseases are prevalent in particular world regions. Malaria is present in parts of Africa, Central and South America, Asia and the Pacific. If you are proposing to visit any of those regions you should seek specific medical advice on how to protect against insect bites and make arrangements to obtain any recommended preventative or curative medication. Some diseases or illnesses - e.g. cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and various types of food poisoning - can be contracted from consumption of contaminated food or water, especially in areas where standards of hygiene are low. If you are visiting such areas, you should avoid certain foodstuffs, particularly dairy products, salads, seafood, and drink only bottled water.

Since the end of 2003, there have been a series of outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus amongst poultry and wild birds worldwide, starting in South-East Asia. The risk of avian flu to Irish nationals visiting affected countries is believed to be low. There are no specific restrictions for travellers to any of the countries affected by avian influenza as the risk is believed to be low. For further advice and information on avian influenza, please click here.

For further information on vaccinations or health advice, please consult your doctor or local travel health clinic. Tropical vaccinations are available from the Tropical Medical Bureau which has centres throughout Ireland.


******

As for your second point Alien species spread by international shipping on the the oceans is another serious threat to ecosystem globally
but it should dealt with in another thread in the environment section
I think.



For example, the Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha have been introduced to North American waterways by clinging to the hulls of ships. They now clog up the water inlets of power stations and factories, and their removal costs $2 billion per year.


The Threat Posed by Alien Invasives
 

Dr Pat

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Don't try to ignore my questions just because you're a racist. They're serious questions related to the OP and they merit scrutiny.
The old racist slur again I see- how boring and predictable. Don't try to silence discussion just because it doesn't fit your definition of political correctness.
 

Éireann go Brách

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I don't mean to sound flip, but some might view an influx of disease carrying foreigners to be a practice that originated with European powers and their aggressive, imperialistic empire building and resource stripping policies.



Not only that, but we sometimes get winds direct from the Sahara. Has no one seriously considered the implications of the migrationary patterns of birds, what if an avian type flu was to cross over to humans? Has no one thought about our bird migrationary controls???
You seem to be suffering from white guilt, I wonder what diseases
where brought into europe by the Persian,Mongol, Ottoman, arab and moorish invasions and conquests.

As for avian type flu its true that this can be spread by migrationary patterns of birds this has been considered but migrationary patterns of birds are difficult to control. I would imagine in a very serious critical situation they could be controlled. There are some controls already for example just look at
the immigration health controls that where in place around the world at the height of the avian flu epidemic, in some countries this including mass killing of birds.
 

bananarepublic.ie

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Savant, Irish blogger of the Year, cuts through the PC muckology here.

http://irishsavant.blogspot.com/2010/09/msm-strikes-again.html
who fek said to you, he/she is the blogger of the year? is that according to your stromfront irish brigade or BNP.

It just takes less then mill second you to be here any thread with "Immigration" you and all your stromfront brigade will be here.

Should we deport all the other Irish people who sneezes... ******************************s!!
 
Last edited:

bagel

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If lessons have been learnt from the measles outbreak in Co Galway a few years ago, it appears they haven't been put into practice.
 

Baron von Biffo

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The OD

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You seem to be suffering from white guilt,
Perhaps, to someone with your mindset, I am. However, I feel no guilt whatsoever about what other people who happen to be the shade of skin as me did in the past anymore than I feel some type of guilt over the way men can act or Irish people can act or Europeans can act or people with Brown hair or blue eyes and so on. I believe in personal responsibility and as such, am in no way responsible for the actions of dead people.
 

Éireann go Brách

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Do we have an infectious diseases policy on people who don't go to the tropics?

Do we have an infectious diseases policy on people who go to the tropics but don't get vaccinated first?

Does getting vaccinated prevent one becoming a carrier of a disease?
1
I don't know thats not the point of the OP, ask the HSE what it is?

2
Vaccinations for people going to the tropics should be compuslary and controlled and checked. I would imagine the vast majority of people do vaccinate.
The number of people travelling to tropics is small the number of these people who either
Do not vaccinate and get a serious infectious diesase
or vaccinate and still get a serious infectious disease
is smaller again. I do not know how big a risk tropic travel is to public health
but your right it should be looked at as well and reviewed


Another growing area where their is risk is Medical tourists
there was a recent scare in UK
In the new globalised world of cheap air travel there are many new risks
to public health
The medical journal, The Lancet, said this week that tourists seeking treatment in Asia are bringing home a dangerous type of bacterial infection that's resistant to nearly all known antibiotics.
.Doctors identified 29 patients in the United Kingdom with the new infections. Most had traveled to India, Pakistan or Bangladesh for medical procedures, including elective cosmetic surgery. Dozens of patients from Asia also got the infections, according to the researchers from Cardiff University.
India rejects superbug links - CNN.com

3
It greatly reduces the risk.


Can anyone answer the questions in OP.
 

Ulster-Lad

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There is an obvious double standard there all right. Pets must have a pet passport to enter the country that certifies they are disease free. This passport is only good from within the EU. Pets from elsewhere must be quarantined for up to 6 months. This is to ensure that disease does not enter Ireland via these pets.

Considering there are loads of illegal immigrants that arrive here constantly without their passports or other documents it is often a bit difficult to determine where they are actually from never-mind what diseases they may be carrying.
 

Éireann go Brách

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Well there you go then, no need for an anti-immigrant crusade.
Having an infectious diseases control policy as part of a states immigration policy is not an "anti-immigrant crusade", other countries do it.
Not Having an infectious diseases control policy as part of your immigration policy is anti-Irish and a risk to public health

I don't know what ROI policy is, thats why I asked the questions in the OP.

Lets take this example in 2008
RT News: Congo refugees to resettle in Ireland
we are taking in 80 refugess from congo it says they arrived last year
Now the congos rate of HIV/aids infection is 5% approx
so statistically-speaking there is a fair chance that 4 of these people have it.
Should they not be screened for it and not left in if they have it?
Maybe this is already the case I don't know?
 

ElizaDoolittle

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Immigration and infectious disease: Irelands policy?

The recent outbreak of tuberculosis in a Cork school has caused great concern in the community.
There is no proof that the infection has been caused by a non-Irish national.
However there is talk on the ground and hints in local media that this is the case
More stupid talk by some half-wit parents, no doubt :(


Contrary to what the OP believes, TB was never completely eradicated in Ireland. It's looking increasingly likely that the TB in Crab Lane is from a long-standing 'home-grown' source.



Dr Cathal Bredin, a consultant respiratory physician at Cork University Hospital (CUH) said he believed these "hidden reservoirs" of TB account for the type of sudden outbreak currently afflicting Scoil Iosaf Naomha, Crab Lane, Ballintemple, in the suburbs of Cork city, where six pupils have been diagnosed with full-blown TB and 31 with latent TB infection.

Three staff have also been diagnosed with latent TB infection, which is not contagious.

"I would say those reservoirs are still there. They would account for the kind of out-of-the-blue episode we see in Crab Lane where no one has been identified as the source," Dr Bredin said.

He said the "reservoirs" were a hangover from a time when TB was rampant in the country in the 1930s and 1940s; that people infected with TB in that period, who are now elderly, may be experiencing a reactivation of the disease, or secondary TB.

Read more: Expert warns
 

Canis

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Oh another "racist" thread?

Of course immigrants should be tested for disease and any with infectious or genetic disease should not be permitted entry; that includes "asylum seekers".


But this common sense policy is racist and therefore cannot be permitted, isn't that right?

Third World Disease is Literally Killing Us:

Third World Immigration Is Literally Killing Us | Irish Nation First
 
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