Hospitalized asylum seekers to be quarantined for MRSA

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No image availableNL Times

The National Institute for Public Health and Environment, the RIVM, has decided to quarantine every asylum seeker visiting a hospital and screen them for MRSA. This decision was made after the dreaded hospital bacteria was found in a few refugees in asylum centers in Weert and the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen.

This measure is to prevent a major outbreak of MRSA in refugee centers. "All hospitals have  now been informed of the increased risk", Jaap van Dissel, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Control at the RIVM, said to newspaper AD.

A total of 95 refugees were examined who came in contact with a MRSA patient in Weert. Fifteen percent of them were infected with the bacteria. In the northern provinces it was 10 percent. Under normal circumstances, about 1 percent of the Dutch population carry this bacteria.

MRSA can be very dangerous to people with a weak resistance, such as refugees who traveled for weeks under horrible circumstances. The bacteria is also resistant to most antibiotics, which is why hospitals work very hard to prevent an outbreak.

"Healthy people do not have to be afraid", Van Dissel said to the newspaper. "If doctors and other care providers in asylum centers stick to the hygiene measures, the chance of it spreading is very small."