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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8186036, 3 pages
Case Report

Tuberculosis and Migration: A Challenge for Medical Staff and Public Health

1Emergency Department, University Hospital of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2Department of Pneumology, Tiefenau Spital Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Received 11 July 2016; Accepted 16 October 2016

Academic Editor: Yahia A. Raja’a

Copyright © 2016 Ines Griesshammer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A high number of asylum seekers enter Switzerland every year. They often originate from countries with a high TB prevalence. Our patient from Somalia presented with 2 lipoma-like tumors with pain on palpation on his left chest wall but no symptoms including coughing, fever, night-sweats, or loss of weight. CT scan then showed diffuse infiltrations of his lung and multiple abscesses on his left chest wall. Therefore contagious tuberculosis (TB) was suspected and the patient was put in isolation. In the follow-up the diagnosis of open TB was proofed with bronchial secretion and EBUS-guided biopsy that showed acid-fast rods. This particular case shows how difficult the identification of patients with open TB can be, especially if there are no respiratory or systemic symptoms. Therefore awareness of possible infectious disease is paramount for ED Doctors treating patients from countries with high prevalence. Early and strict isolation measures can help to reduce risk of contagion among staff and patients.