Refugee Bound for Texas Dies En Route at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

“An 8-year-old refugee from Congo died Tuesday after landing at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport,” the local CBS affiliate reports:

David Dieme, an 8-year-old boy landed Tuesday at approximately 4:30 p.m. with a refugee family at O’Hare International Airport.

Dieme was traveling with his father and several other children, who arrived to Chicago on a flight from Dubai. After clearing paperwork, the family was being escorted to their next flight, when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer noticed Dieme unresponsive.

Emergency Medical Services was immediately notified and arrived at the terminal. Standard procedures are in place to address sick passengers, according to a spokesman for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Dieme was sick prior to the flight, but did not report any symptoms on the flight. He was examined at the airport by CDC officials, in an isolated room. Dieme’s temperature was taken, but he had no fever. He experienced diarrhea and vomiting. It was determined he should be taken to the hospital.

Dieme was taken to Presence Resurrection Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The boy and his family were apparently not yet counted among the 2,058 refugees who have arrived in the United States in the first five days of FY 2017, a run rate that will double the number of arriving refugees to 150,000 this year, up from 84,995 in FY 2016.

The Chicago CBS affiliate added:

The CDC spokesman said it has been determined the child did not have a disease that posed a threat to public health. If more information comes forward that results in contacting passengers, action will be taken.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is deeply saddened with the situation. The family was passing through Chicago and planned to settle in Texas.

The Cook County Medical Examiner is currently gathering additional information at this time. An autopsy was performed Wednesday, with results pending.

During the first five days of FY 2017, 220 refugees have been resettled in Texas, more than any other state in the country.

Ninety-nine of those refugees arrived from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the Department of State’s interactive website.

Thirty-nine were resettled in Houston, 25 in Dallas, nine in Abilene, nine in Amarillo, eight in Fort Worth, eight in San Antonio, and one in Austin.

In September, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas was withdrawing from the federal refugee resettlement program, effective in January.

Breitbart News has reported extensively on the public health risk to the general public posed by a resurgence of diseases that had been on a path to eradication until the recent influx of migration to the country. Among the diseases newly resurgent are tuberculosis, whooping cough, intestinal parasites, mumps, and measles.

Refugees are required to undergo overseas medical screenings prior to their arrival in the United States. Those screenings, however, do not prohibit refugees with a number of diseases from arriving in the United States. Few arriving refugees, for instance,  are tested and treated for latent tuberculosis infection prior to their arrival in the United States.

Though initial domestic medical screenings of all arriving refugees are recommended within ninety days of their arrival, those screenings are not required by either law or regulation.


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