An inquiry revealed on Sunday that sewage leaks into drinking water supplies were to blame for a typhoid outbreak that occurred on an old cruise ship housing asylum seekers in the Netherlands last year.
The Dutch government’s use of ships to house asylum seekers has drawn strong criticism from human rights organizations; the investigation’s findings were released just days after the UK said it was contemplating using ferries and barges in a similar way.
On April 6, 2022, the Liberty Ann cruise ship, which was anchored in the Dutch city of Haarlem to the west of the capital Amsterdam, received its first reports of cases of fever and stomach discomfort.
Typhoid fever, which is caused by an infection with the bacteria Salmonella Typhi and is fatal in about 1% of cases, was determined to be caused by health officials.
According to the investigation, nearly 350 individuals were exposed to the bacteria, and 20 employees in addition to 52 asylum seekers developed typhoid fever.
All of the patients healed, even though 25 needed hospitalization. The employees and all asylum seekers were relocated to new quarters.
In order to determine the cause of the typhoid outbreak, which typically results from contaminated water, local health officials then initiated an investigation.
The findings were revealed over the weekend in Copenhagen at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.