Infectious disease in flood of undocumented immigrants 'not being taken seriously'

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(NaturalNews) As tens of thousands of migrants and refugees illegally pour across the southwest border they are bringing with them a host of diseases that have long been eradicated in the United States, and that should be worrying Americans.

As Breitbart Texas reported recently, there has already been a confirmed case of H1N1, or Swine Flu, at a facility for younger migrants in San Antonio, but other diseases such as measles, chicken pox and HIV are either here already or are believed to be on their way.

Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says the child with Swine Flu came across the border unaccompanied. He told CBS DFW the child is currently recovering and officials are trying to screen others for the disease.

"That tells you that when you've got kids coming in from some of these countries where they don't have great health systems, we gotta watch out," Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), told the local CBS affiliate.

Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, a renowned physician and nationally recognized expert, said in an interview with Breitbart Texas that the risks from these diseases and others are being dramatically downplayed.

"Many people are trying to diminish the seriousness of this. They say, 'We have these diseases in the U.S.' Well yes, we do, but they've been well controlled, we have good hygiene, and most of our parents keep children home when they're sick," she said.

And since most of the new arrivals are being warehoused in overcrowded facilities and practicing poor hygiene, the Obama administration is essentially creating ideal conditions for a viral outbreak, she said.

'It's a real risk that could get out of hand'

As noted by Breitbart Texas:

So far a slew of sicknesses have been brought into the U.S. by the recent tidal wave of illegal immigrants. Breitbart Texas recently reported on an outbreak of scabies in one housing facility for unaccompanied border minors--the infestation was contracted by numerous Border Patrol agents. Other additional illnesses have also been noted.

"We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA staph infections, we are starting to see different viruses," Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera told ABC 15 in Arizona.

Those illnesses "keep increasing logarithmically as long as you have people to infect," Vliet said. "So once the flu bug, TB, or any infectious disease is released--once they are brought across the border--they're just going to keep infecting more people. One person can infect a thousand people, and then that thousand can infect thousands more. There is an exponential increase."

She warned: "It's a very real risk. It could get out of hand very quickly; but since these are common diseases that people have heard of, the risk isn't necessarily taken seriously."

If certain illnesses spread quickly, she notes that public health facilities are liable to become overwhelmed, and that will mean further delays in care for American citizens.

And here's another irony: U.S. health officials are adamant that American children be vaccinated for every disease possible; no such government effort has been launched to vaccinate these new arrivals.

Spreading disease all around the country

Zack Taylor, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, said in an interview with Breitbart Texas: "Apparently a significant amount of communicable disease is suspected by custodial and agent personnel. What level of medical screening, if any, is being done is unknown. What the medical testing shows is likely not being shared with the agents. And, there are potential communicable diseases that the detainees will not be tested for unless individually requested by a medical officer which is unlikely without acute symptoms."

What's worse, current government policy is compounding the threat of disease. Immigration officials are shipping the illegal migrants to facilities all over the country, even as far north, perhaps, as New York State.

Doing that "increases the risk to the general U.S. population," Vliet said. "They're taking them from the border to the heartland and increasing the spread."

She added: "First and foremost we need to enforce immigration laws. The migrants should be quarantined until we can determine what they have. This is a national security risk, it is a public health risk, and it is going to overwhelm the healthcare system for U.S. citizens."

Sources for this article include:





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