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Thread: Infectious diseases a rising threat among migrants at southern border

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Infectious diseases a rising threat among migrants at southern border

    by Anna Giaritelli
    | May 23, 2019 09:24 AM

    Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases could spread among migrants clustered just south of the U.S.-Mexico border if the immigration crisis isn't settled soon, says a former top Department of Homeland Security officials.

    More than a half-million people have been taken into federal custody for illegally crossing from Mexico into the United States this fiscal year, triggering a rise in detainments at immigrant-holding facilities.

    “They’re one major incident away from a catastrophe — someone comes in with an active case of tuberculosis or something worse than that,” said Ronald Vitiello, who during the Trump administration served as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.

    Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, cited respiratory infections, diarrheal infections, and bacterial infections as some of the health concerns medical staff working on the border would have to constantly be on the look-out for.

    “Whenever you get individuals congregated in an enclosed space, no matter what their age, there is an increased risk of outbreaks of certain kinds of infections,” said Schaffner.

    The doctor also warned of the possibility of an outbreak of a preventable condition — mumps, scabies, measles — because people were not vaccinated.

    “If I was running such a facility, that would be one of the first things I would think of is to provide comprehensive vaccinations. Of course, we don’t know in the vast majority what the vaccination history is,” he said. “Usually what we do is assume they’re all unvaccinated and bring them all up to date. It takes time and you’d need to establish a medical record.”

    Some families and children arriving at the southern border after fleeing homes in El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras, and elsewhere in hope of attaining asylum in the U.S. do not have legal documents showing who they are, much less vaccination or medical records. CBP has not shared what percentage of people have either types of documents.

    Since the start of fiscal 2019 in October, 535,000 people have been arrested for unlawfully entering the U.S. Whereas a decade ago when the majority of arrests were of single adult Mexican men, nearly 70% of those apprehended in April were children and families from countries south of Mexico.

    “We're seeing 4,000 families a day and — and single adults, unaccompanied children crossing unlawfully between ports of entry.

    That means CBP right now in Border Patrol stations and at ports of entry, has about 16,000 people in custody. The system is full,” acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan told CBS “Face the Nation” Sunday.

    U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said 535,000 people have been arrested this year. Border Patrol, which mans the land between border crossings, has “had to release 40k into the communities as a last resort” instead of turning those families over to ICE for additional detainment, according to her post.

    Vitiello said shifting resources and detainees, most of whom have claimed a credible fear of returning home, is a nonstarter.

    “Most of the facilities that are not on the southwest border — they’re not equipped for large numbers,” Vitiello said.

    ICE and CBP facilities near the southern border have seen outbreaks of disease and virus, though they are rarely publicly disclosed by government agencies.

    Approximately 2,200 people in ICE custody were exposed to a mumps outbreak at detention facilities in Pine Prairie, La., and Aurora, Col., in March and were quarantined 25 days.

    In January, Hidalgo County officials in southern New Mexico told the Examiner they were aware of a few scabies outbreaks at the Lordsburg Border Patrol station, which is located in the county.

    “The biggest concern that I’ve heard about is not that they’re disease-ridden, but the fact that they don't vaccinate. I mean, it would become a county epidemic,” County Manager Tisha Green said during an interview.

    In addition, a Legionnaire’s outbreak at the Antelope Wells port of entry forced the facility to turn off plumbing. The border crossing sees hundreds of immigrant families illegally cross and surrender to CBP personnel weekly and was relying on two porta-potties in December to handle the massive groups of people in need of bathroom facilities.

    Many of those arriving in New Mexico in December were sick, including Jakelin Caal. The seven-year-old Guatemalan child died after passing through the station at the same time of the outbreak.
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  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    They are not the only ones with TB.

    All these refugees DUMPED in our neighborhoods and schools have it too!

    $50,000 - $100,000 of our money to treat one case of it.

    Get them out of our country~

    No diseases and no medical conditions WE are forced to foot the bill for!
    Judy, GeorgiaPeach and gabelle39 like this.


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    WHEN ARE THE SHEEP going to WAKE UP to what Trump is doing to us?????!!!!! I'm debating on whether to go to DC.

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