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Increased movement of people increases incidence of uncommon infectious diseases

(Vienna, 17 November 2015) Infectionologists are facing new challenges: the increased movement of people, whether due to the general increase in travel or the mass migration of refugees through Europe, may increase the incidence of uncommon infectious diseases requiring acute treatment – and, of course, this also affects Austria. However, nowadays all diseases can be treated very successfully. This point is stressed by Florian Thalhammer, Deputy Director of the Clinical Department of Infections and Tropical Medicine at MedUni Vienna. 

In view of this, the Medical University is giving increased attention to this area and, under Thalhammer’s direction, it has combined with the Austrian Association for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine (ÖGIT) and the Vienna medical association to organize a specialist symposium for scientists and doctors entitled "Asylum Seekers – Medical Challenges" for this coming Monday, 23 November 2015 (Van Swieten Hall at MedUni Vienna, Van Swieten-Gasse 1 a, 1090 Vienna, 18-20 hrs).

Drawing attention to uncommon infectious diseases
"In the past, most cases of such diseases with which we were confronted involved people returning from foreign travel and immigrants. In future, diseases which were previously regarded as rare and perhaps only diagnosed in specialist centers will become more prevalent. We therefore want to draw the attention of all healthcare professionals to uncommon infectious diseases," explains Thalhammer. The spectrum covers malaria, tuberculosis, skin and childhood diseases that are rare in central Europe and also includes the question of vaccination status. 

"However, at the same time we want to make it perfectly clear that there is no danger to the public at large," stresses Thalhammer. "If treating physicians are alert to the possibility of these uncommon infectious diseases when making their diagnoses, all diseases can be successfully treated at an early stage."

Specialist symposium:
"Asylum Seekers – Medical Challenges", 23 November 2015, 18-20 hrs. „Aslysuchende – Medizinische Herausforderungen“, 23. November 2015, 18-20 Uhr.

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