Vienna • An Austrian commission following up on claims that doctors deliberately infected patients with malaria to treat others with syphilis says hundreds of people, including orphans in a psychiatric hospital, might have been infected.
The commission started work last year following accusations by former patients who were orphaned children on a psychiatric and neurological ward run by the city of Vienna. Lawyer Johannes Oehlboeck, who represents some of them, told The Associated Press on Friday that several believe they were used as "carriers" for the malaria parasite to keep it alive until it could be injected into syphilis patients, in a medical therapy once thought to be effective.
Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caused by parasites and usually spread to people by infected mosquitoes. Most deaths occur in children under 5.