[Spectrum of diseases occurring in refugees and asylum seekers: data from three different medical institutions in the Munich area from 2014 and 2015].Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2016 Jan; 141(1):e8-15.DM
In 2014 the number of refugees and asylum seekers in Germany rose steeply. Therefore, the provision of sufficient medical care for this special group of people became a major topic. Up to now, data on the spectrum of illnesses in this group in Germany is scarce.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Anonymized data of 548 ill refugees and asylum seekers were retrospectively evaluated. Cases from three different institutions and time periods were collected and summarized: 329 outpatients from the general medical clinic of REFUDOCS (RD, January to beginning of March 2015), 175 inpatients from the 1. medical department of the municipal hospital Schwabing (KS, June 2014 to February 2015) and 44 outpatients from the department of infectious diseases and tropical medicine of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich (AITM, 2014).
Health problems seen at the RD general medical clinic mostly matched the usual spectrum seen by general practitioners. Respiratory illnesses especially by unspecific viral infections (152 visits), followed by neuropsychiatric (68), and gastrointestinal illnesses (56), as well as musculoskeletal (52) and skin problems (45), were common. Infectious diseases or diseases typical or specific for the tropics were mostly treated in the specialized centers. Cases of pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis (53), malaria (53), scabies, pneumonia, and schistosomiasis were prevalent.
The results of this exemplary study mostly show the occurrence of illnesses in refugees and asylum seekers that are well known to German general practitioners and pediatricians. However, depending on the country of origin infectious / tropical diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, or relapsing fever have to be considered. Rapid diagnosis of these illnesses is warranted to prevent severe cases or further spreading of contagious diseases.