Eight offices of the Greek Armed Forces deployed in a refugee camp in Epirus, north-western Greece, have been found to be positive on skin test Mantoux, a screening tool for tuberculosis (TB). Tests are being conducted for all military personnel in the camp, those found positive undergoing further test, because the Mantoux test can be “false positive” depending on conditions and circumstances like a previous vaccination.
According to exclusive report by military affairs website OnAlert.gr, the issue first arose already before Easter beginning of May, when one Syrian refugee who was undergoing tuberculosis treatment in his country arrived in the camp. It turned out that the refugee had stopped taking his medicine before arriving in the camp. When the health services identified the TB-case, the refugee was removed from the camp but had apparently infected other people.
Beginning of June, the regional press had reported of three similar incidents and children hospitalized in the University Hospital of Ioannina.
The positive tests alerted the Greek Armed Forces and the Land Forces General Staff sent doctors from the military hospital of Thessaloniki to the camp for further tests on the military personnel but also on their families.
According to Military Personnel organizations, the camp started its operation in April and the military personnel deployed to work there was sent to vaccination end of May. The Union of Military personnel for the region of Epirus had urged for the health protection of the personnel in camps already on March 29th 2016.
OnAlert.gr adds that part of the money for the vaccination was paid by the officers.
Tuberculosis is curable and treatment requires the use of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. It is an infectious disease, spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze.
PS due to austerity cuts…