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Illegal immigration: the puzzling role of several risk factors for rhabdomyolysis


A 14-year-old boy presented with low-grade fever, widespread myalgia and difficulty in walking and standing 2 days after the undocumented trip which brought him from western Africa to Italy. His serum creatine phosphokinase was markedly elevated. He was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis and was volume-restored with normal saline and bicarbonate-containing fluid. Anamnesis revealed illegal, not well-specified, forced consumption in his fatherland, and very bad conditions of the trip (prolonged immobility, dehydration, hypothermia). Workup included a respiratory microbiological panel which was positive for Chlamydia pneumoniae. Other microbiological agents were excluded. After 3 weeks, he recovered complete motility. Undocumented immigrants may present several risk factors for rhabdomyolysis that give to this group of individuals a higher risk of developing this disorder.

  • Global Health
  • Toxicology
  • Migration And Health
  • Fluid Electrolyte And Acid-base Disturbances
  • Musculoskeletal And Joint Disorders

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