Nineteen Refugees Diagnosed With Active Tuberculosis in Michigan

tb, tuberculosis

Nineteen refugees were diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB) in Michigan between 2011 and 2016, according to data provided to Breitbart News by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and county government officials in Oakland County, Michigan.

Eighteen of these nineteen refugees were diagnosed with active TB between 2011 and 2015, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

One of these nineteen refugees, an Iraqi who arrived in the United States in June 2015 with latent TB infection, was diagnosed with active TB in March 2016, according to the Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services.

Five of the nineteen refugees were diagnosed with active TB at the time of their initial domestic medical screening, which usually takes place within 90 days of arrival. Fourteen were diagnosed subsequent to their initial domestic screening, but within five years of their arrival.

Thirteen states have now confirmed that recently resettled refugees have been diagnosed with active TB. The other twelve states include Wisconsin (27),Nebraska (21)Louisiana (21), Vermont (17)Colorado (16), Florida (11), Ohio (11 in one county)Idaho (seven), Kentucky (nine in one county)North Dakota (four in one county), and Indiana (four), and Tennessee, where two refugees have been diagnosed with the very dangerous, multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.

The table below summarizes the refugee health data provided to Breitbart News by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for 2011 to 2015:

 Summary of Michigan refugee health data for 2011 to 2015

Category                          2011   –   2012   –  2013   –   2014   –  2015    Five Year Total

Total Refugees                2,588    3,603     4,658     4,006      3,015           17,870

Screened                          2,632     3,464     4,599     4,307      2,860          17,862

Active TB at Screening       0              2              0            1              2                   5

Active TB after Screening  5             0               6            0              2                  13

Total Active TB                   5              2                6            1              4                  18

B1,B2, B3 notifications   126           152          140      168            111              697

Percentage Arrivals       4.8            4.2            3.0      4.1           3.7               3.9

LTBI positive                    60             52             37       46             30              225

Percentage                     47.6          34 .2        26.4     27.3         27.0            32.3

Treated successfully           7               2             3          15              4               31

Percentage                      11.7           3.8           8.1      32.6        13.3             13.7

Results of the low treatment completion rates (13.7 percent) among the small percentage of refugees who arrived with B1, B2, or B3 TB risk notifications (3.9 percent of the 17.870 refugee arrivals in Michigan between 2011 and 2015) that tested positive for latent TB infection (32.3 percent) is cause for concern.

Breitbart News has asked to receive data for the percentage of all refugees screened who tested positive for latent TB infection (LTBI) , as well as their treatment rates, but the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has not yet provided that data.

LTBI rates matter when it comes to protecting public health because among those within the general population in the United States who test positive for LTBI  (four percent), an estimated 10 percent will develop active TB over their life time.

The LTBI rates in the rest of the world are much higher: On average, 33 percent. Among refugees arriving in the United States, LTBI rates range from 15 percent in Texas to 35 percent in Vermont.

As Breitbart News has reported previously, numerous medical reports confirm that high rates of LTBI among resettled refugees pose an active TB risk for the entire population of communities with resettled refugees. This is due to several reasons, including lower immunity suppression rates among refugees and, significantly, high failure rates among refugees in latent TB treatment programs.

The Iraqi refugee who was diagnosed with active TB in March 2016 in Oakland County is an example of this phenomenon. This refugee was diagnosed with LTBI in the overseas medical examination conducted prior to arrival in the United States in June 2015. But apparently, this refugee was not treated for LTBI subsequent to arrival, and developed active TB.

News of the rise of refugees in Michigan and the public health problems associated with them are likely to further impact the presidential polls in the state.

The number of refugees arriving in Michigan during the first eleven months of FY 2016 increased 43 percent from the same eleven month period of FY 2015.

The five resettlement agencies, funded by the federal government, that operate in the state plan on increasing the total number of refugees arriving in the state during FY 2017 by 38 percent, up to more than 5,600.

Michigan, which received the second highest number of Syrian refugees of any state in the country in FY 2016, will receive an increase in those numbers of 40 percent in FY 2017, if the Obama administration accepts their plans, which is usually merely a rubber-stamp process.

Several localities have expressed concerning about the accelerated resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions of the state.

In June, L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, demanded that Office of Refugee Resettlement director Robert Carey initiate legally required consultation proceedings with him prior to resettling refugees in his county. Carey told Patterson, in essence,  the federal government did not intend to comply with the consultation requirements of the Refugee Act of 1980.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the city of Flint told Breitbart News, “city leaders have not been informed” by the federal government of plans to resettle 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Flint has been beset by financial and public health problems since a 2014 drinking water crisis.

Hillary favors more refugees; Donald Trump opposes more refugees.

The latest poll in the usually reliably blue state shows that Hillary’s lead has shrunk to three points, 38 to 35, well within the poll’s four point margin of error.

In that Epic-MRA poll conducted of 600 likely Michigan voters between Sept 10 and Sept 13, 53 percent opposed “admitting more refugees to accommodate Syrians fleeing war in their country.”

Only 36 percent favored Hillary Clinton’s and the Obama administration’s policy of increasing refugees.


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