Do infectious diseases arrive in Italy with migrants?
We must not fear the importation by migrants of contagious diseases
Foreigners currently represent only 8.3% of the resident population in Italy, less than other countries such as Germany (10.5%) and Spain (9.5%). the so-called "healthy migrant effect". The meaning is simple: only the strongest members of the community undertake the difficult migratory path, practicing a sort of self-selection in the countries of origin. This is why we cannot speak of an emergency return of infectious diseases.
Although tried by the fatigue of the journey, the migrants arriving on our shores are mainly young and in good health; however, due to poverty, irregularity and difficult access to services, they can develop diseases in the host country linked to poor hygiene and overcrowding, such as measles, flu, scabies, diphtheria, pertussis and tuberculosis, thus not representing a disease-carrying population, but rather a population that can get sick here because it is not well protected and protected.
1. Statistical Dossier Immigration (IDOS) 2017
2. Kennedy Steven & McDonald James Ted & Biddle Nicholas, 2006. The Healthy Immigrant Effect and Immigrant Selection: Evidence from Four Countries. Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 164, McMaster University
3. EpiCentro (ISS). Migrants and health
4. You face Mario. The need for health and prevention in the immigrant subject. Pathologies migratory flows. International Journal of Public Health. 2011; 8, Suppl. 3