Intended for healthcare professionals


Diphtheria: Home Office ignored offer of help to manage migrant centre outbreak, say public health leaders

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 29 November 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2887

Linked Opinion

Public health and human rights must be prioritised over inhumane immigration policies

  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The diphtheria outbreak linked to the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent “could and should have been prevented” but was made “far worse” by the Home Office, public health leaders have said.

More than 70 suspected cases of diphtheria have been linked to the centre in recent weeks, and many migrants have been moved to hotels around the country, said a report in the Times.1 People with suspected cases are thought to be in West Yorkshire, London, Greater Manchester, Kent, and the south west and east of England. People were moved after the death of a man who had been held for almost a week at Manston and had contracted diphtheria.

In a report on the situation the UK Health Security Agency said that diphtheria was identified …

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