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Doctors worry about rising exotic diseases

The Local · 19 Sep 2011, 07:43

Published: 19 Sep 2011 07:43 GMT+02:00

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Although incidences of malaria in Germany are steadily dropping, other illnesses, such as dengue fever – which can cause flu-like symptoms, and in severe cases, death – have spiked.

About 600 cases of the disease were reported last year, twice as many as in 2009, Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, a virologist at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine told Die Welt newspaper.

And for the first time ever, tourists came from France and Croatia with the pathogen in their system.

“This should be monitored closely,” said Christian Meyer, another expert at the institute.

Although cholera occurs from time to time among well-travelled Germans, it has showed up among new patients recently. In 2011, there were three cases among returnees from the popular holiday destination, the Dominican Republic for the first time, Die Welt reported.

Skin disease leishmaniasis, commonly found in Mediterranean regions and spread by sand flies, is also seeing a resurgence.

The most common nasty symptom from a trip abroad remains diarrhoea – in some destinations, up to 80 percent of visitors are affected. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Berlin-based government agency which monitors disease outbreaks, counts 600 cases of shigellosis, which can cause severe cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, each year in Berlin alone.

The report comes as experts fret that more animals are also being hit by tropical disease. Reports have emerged that that more blackbirds are dying from the African Usutu virus, which first emerged in Europe in Italy in 2009.

Story continues below…

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:23 September 19, 2011 by whiteriver
Germans should stay in Germany, where is safe.
16:25 September 19, 2011 by auniquecorn
I agree 100% whiteriver

They need to stay at home in their little box, and sh! t when the gov. says its safe to sh!t.
19:43 September 19, 2011 by Englishted
"The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Berlin-based government agency which monitors disease outbreaks, counts 600 cases of shigellosis, which can cause severe cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever, each year in Berlin alone."

I get that ,I thought it was from drinking wheat beer and eating doners to excess.
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