INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN IMMIGRANTS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A TROPICAL MEDICINE REFERRAL UNIT

R. LÓPEZ-VÉLEZ Tropical Medicine and Clinical Parasitology Unit, Infectious Diseases Department and Microbiology Department, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain

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H. HUERGA Tropical Medicine and Clinical Parasitology Unit, Infectious Diseases Department and Microbiology Department, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain

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M. C. TURRIENTES Tropical Medicine and Clinical Parasitology Unit, Infectious Diseases Department and Microbiology Department, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain

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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.

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