Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Tuesday that the federal government is screening illegal immigrant children flooding across the United States-Mexico border for contagious diseases. Numerous doctors have expressed concerns that the border crisis can lead to a public health crisis.
At a House Homeland Security hearing concerning the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children flooding across the border from Central America, Johnson said the federal government is conducting public health screenings “for all those who come into our facilities for any symptoms of contagious diseases or other possible public health concerns.”
He also said that the Department of Homeland Security and the Health and Human Services administration are ensuring that the “nutritional and hygienic needs” of children are met and “that children who exhibit signs of illness or disease are given proper medical care.”
Breitbart News’ Dr. Susan Berry reported that doctors are concerned that “many of the thousands of illegal immigrant children and teens crossing the United States border are carrying deadly contagious diseases,” such as tuberculosis, “that could easily create a major health crisis in this country.”
“Tuberculosis (TB) is the single most dangerous disease because it is highly contagious and can be easily picked up at the mall, at a school, or on the bus,” Dr. Jane Orient, an internal medicine specialist and the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), told Breitbart News. “Cases coming from south of the U.S. border can be very resistant to medications. They don’t respond to traditional antibiotics, and the few drugs they may respond to are often toxic, with lots of side effects.”
Some of the other diseases concerning public health officials include measles, hepatitis, Chagas disease, and Norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
The Obama administration has said that at least 52,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant children have crossed the border since October of last year, and the federal government is trying to send many of the recent illegal immigrants to facilities across the country, from New York to California.