Homeland Security Concerned About Disease Outbreak Among Migrants
“One major incident away from catastrophe”
A former top Department of Homeland Security official said that tuberculosis and other infectious diseases could spread among migrants clustered at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“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.
Detainments at holding facilities are filling up as more than a half million people have been taken into federal custody for illegally crossing from Mexico into the United States since October 1, 2018.
“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 Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. He also warned of the possibility of an outbreak of preventable diseases such as mumps, measles and scabies, because many people are not vaccinated.
An outbreak of the flu has already prompted the largest border detention center to stop processing migrant intake.
- For Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services personnel as they endeavor to look after those who are sick within detention facilities.
For the health of families and small children at the southern border hoping for asylum in America.