Thirty-Two Refugees Diagnosed With Active Tuberculosis in Utah

tuberculosis - TB
AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Thirty-two refugees were diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB) in Utah between 2011 and 2015, according to the Utah Department of Health.

During that five-year period, a total of 172 cases of active TB were diagnosed in the state. Seventy-seven percent of those cases, 132 out of 172, were foreign-born. In contrast, during that same five-year period, 66 percent of all active TB cases in the United States were foreign-born.

“Among foreign-born TB cases in Utah from 2011 to 2015, 38% had immigration visas upon first entry into the United States, 24% were refugees, 8% had student visas, 4% had employment visas, 1% were asylees/parolees, 1% had tourist visas, and 23% had other immigration status,” the Utah Department of Health reported.

News of the 32 cases of active TB among recently-resettled refugees in Utah increases the known number of active TB cases among refugees in the sixteen states for which Breitbart News has obtained data to 508.

Utah now has the second highest number of refugees with active TB, but still lags far behind Minnesota, which with 304 cases of active TB among refugees has reported more than nine times the number of cases of Utah.

A complete breakdown of cases of active TB in these fifteen other states is:

Minnesota (304), Wisconsin (27)Nebraska (21)Louisiana (21), Michigan (19)Vermont (17)Colorado (16), Florida (11), Ohio (11 in one county)Idaho (7), Kentucky (9 in one county)North Dakota (4 in one county),  Indiana (4), California (3), and Tennessee, where two refugees have been diagnosed with the very dangerous, multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.

According to the Utah Department of Health’s Tuberculosis in Utah 2011-2015 report, Utah has a lower rate of TB than the rest of the United States:

In 2015, the TB rate in Utah was 1.2 cases per 100,000 population. For the five-year period from 2011 to 2015, Utah had an average TB rate of 1.2
cases per 100,000 population. From 1993 to 2015, Utah’s TB rate was, on average, about one-third of the national rate. The
US TB rate in 2015 was 3.0 cases per 100,000 population.

Were it not for the disproportionately higher rate of foreign-born cases of TB in the state, Utah’s TB rate would be even lower.

The breakdown of foreign-born cases by the top six counties of origin over these five years in Utah includes Mexico (29.5 percent), with 39 cases out of 132, India (9.1 percent), with 12 cases out of 132, Peru (7.6 percent), with 10 cases out of 132, Phillipines (6.8 percent) with nine cases out of 132, Burma (4.5 percent) with six cases out of 132, and Somalia (4.5 percent), with six cases out of 132:

During this five-year period between 2011 and 2015, a total of 5,163 refugees were resettled in Utah, primarily from high TB burden countries such as Somalia (1,188 refugees), Burma (963), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (350), according to the State Department’s interactive website.

Iraq (972) and Sudan (250) rounded out the top five countries of origin for refugees resettled in Utah between 2011 and 2015.

Increasingly, active TB has been concentrated in the urban area of Salt Lake City.

“From 2011 to 2015, Salt Lake County Health District accounted for 68% of the state’s TB cases,” the report notes.
“In 2015, this district accounted for 84% of the reported TB cases in the state,” the report states.

The issue of refugees does not appear to be a top issue in the Utah presidential contest, as it is in states like Minnesota and Michigan.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump opposes increasing refugee resettlement, has called for a pause in resettling refugees from Syria and other countries with a history of hostility to the United States, and in Minnesota on Sunday stated that “a Trump administration will not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed.”

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said she wants to increase the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States by 550 percent and is in favor of increasing refugee resettlement across the board.

Third-party candidate Evan McMullin, a Mormon in a state with a 55 percent population of Mormons, is on record as stating that the United States should accept refugees from Syria.

According to his campaign website: “Evan served as a Mormon missionary in Brazil and Volunteer Refugee Resettlement Officer in Amman, Jordan on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.”

His broader immigration policy, as found on his campaign website, states:

The way that we deal with immigration will have a profound impact on our identity as Americans. We must be careful to preserve our nation’s unity and commitment to fairness. At the same time, our debates and our policies should reflect the civility and tolerance that helped forge a nation out of immigrants from every nation on earth. By replacing divisive rhetoric with genuine action to secure the border, we can work towards immigration reform that makes America safer, fairer, and more prosperous.

Recent polls have placed McMullin within striking distance, though he has faded of late.

The Real Clear Politics average of polls, as of Election Day morning, rates Utah as “Likely Trump,” and shows Trump with a 10.4 percent lead, at 37.4 percent, with Clinton in second at 27 percent and McMullin in third at 25 percent.

Utah has six electoral college votes.

As of Election Day, the Real Clear Politics electoral college map with no tossups gives Clinton 272 electoral college votes and Trump 266 electoral college votes.

270 electoral college votes are needed to win the presidency.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.