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Denmark announces unvaccinated refugees have brought diphtheria into the country after a 20-year absence

  • Two Libyan refugees who arrived in Denmark found to have diphtheria
  • The potentially fatal infection has not been seen in the country since 1998
  • Authorities are warning hospitals there could be an outbreak of diphtheria
  • Other refugees have been found suffering from tuberculosis and malaria

Refugees have brought the potentially fatal and highly-contagious bacterial infection diphtheria into Denmark and authorities are warning hospitals there could be an outbreak.

Two Libyan refugees were found to have the infection, the Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) said on Tuesday.

Diphtheria – spread through coughs and sneezes, or contact with someone with the infection or their belongings – has not been seen in the country since 1998.


‘The infection [diphtheria] can be very dangerous if one isn’t vaccinated against it,’ Kurt Fuursted, spokesperson for the SSI told Danish newspaper Metroxpress.

‘There is no doubt that infectious diseases are coming in with the refugees that we aren’t used to. There have been discussions on whether all refugees who come to Denmark should be screened.’

The newspaper also reported that other refugees had been found suffering from tuberculosis and malaria.

Health Minister Sophie Lunde told Metroxpress that officials will discuss possible changes to screening policies.

The Danish vaccination programme recommends that babies are inoculated against diphtheria.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a number of Danish nightclubs had started demanding that guests can make themselves understood in English, German or the native tongue to be allowed entry.

The language requirements have reportedly been



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