Update on crowding and disease: An outbreak of tuberculosis and meningitis at the already full-to-bursting immigration internment centre in Melilla has led to residents being sent to Málaga.
Only two cases of each have been confirmed and the patients, of sub-Saharan African origin, have been taken to the district hospital in Melilla whilst another 226 have been vaccinated against both diseases as a precaution.
Healthcare sources say a 20-year-old man from Gabon is in intensive care in isolation for type W bacterial meningitis, which is rife in sub-Saharan Africa, and his life is in grave danger.
The age and nationality of the tuberculosis patient have not been revealed, but he is also in isolation in hospital.
Around 40 chest X-rays were carried out on Africans at the immigration centre to check for signs of the disease, which is contagious as well as infectious.
Conditions such as these – which are largely extinct in the western world or, in the case of meningitis, very rare – could become commonplace at immigration internment centres, especially where they are overcrowded.
Authorities say the centre in Melilla was built for 472 migrants, but currently houses over 1,900.
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These are serious, often fatal diseases. They might become commonplace in Europe too at this rate.