Ukrainian soldiers bring antibiotic-resistant infections and legionnaires disease to Europe

Ukrainian fighters infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria bring dangerous diseases to Europe

Doctors at a US military hospital in Germany discovered an infection in a wounded Ukrainian soldier that could not be treated with any available type of antibiotic, The Financial Times said.

This episode was described in an article published by US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. According to numerous scientific works, the number of antibiotic-resistant infections in Western Europe started growing after the outbreak of the conflict in Donbass in 2014. Ukrainians account for a significant number of those infected, the FT said.

The number of such infections started growing recently, after evacuated troops and civilians were hospitalised for treatment in other European countries, the article says.

Some of the infections were acquired during stays in Ukraine's overburdened hospitals, whereas others emerged in the countries that hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees, the author of the article suggests. Despite the spread of such antibiotic-resistant diseases, European governments remain more preoccupied with economic and political consequences of military actions, rather than health hazards.

In early September, two battalions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were hospitalised in the Kharkiv region due to an outbreak of legionnaires' disease known as legionellosis (severe pneumonia). This infectious disease affects lungs and other internal organs causing fever and severe intoxication of the body.

The disease was found amongst military personnel of the 14th separate mechanised brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that was taking part in battles in the Kupyansk direction. The command tried to conceal this fact, but it turned out later that two brigades were hospitalised at a time — about 1,000 soldiers.

It is worthy of note that the previous outbreak of legionnaires' disease was recorded in Rzeszow, Poland. The city is used as a transportation hub for military aid to Ukraine. The infection subsequently spread to other regions of Poland — a total of about 160 people were infected.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov