Nearly 2,500 Migrants in Tijuana Sick With Communicable Diseases

Thursday, November 29, 2018
By Paul Martin

by R. Cort Kirkwood
Thursday, 29 November 2018

If wrecking American sovereignty, lowering wages, and increasing the public welfare load aren’t reasons enough to oppose the influx of migrant invaders sitting in Tijuana, here is another: At least 30 percent of them are sick with communicable diseases they might spread to Americans in schools, hospitals, welfare and employment offices, and other public places.

And by “sick,” officials in Mexico don’t mean the common cold. They mean serious disease.

Some of the migrants are turning around and heading home after months of traveling through Mexico, as The New American reported today. But with a third of the 6,000 or so in Tijuana coughing and breaking out in blisters, now is not the time for the Trump administration to weaken.

AIDS, TB, and Chickenpox
That’s because the diseases many of the migrants carry are deadly — or can be.

“Out of 6,000 migrants currently residing in the city, over a third of them (2,267) are being treated for health-related issues,” Fox News reported.

So far, officials have confirmed three cases of tuberculosis, four cases of AIDS, and four separate cases of chickenpox, the network reported.

Even worse, they’ve also brought in bugs. Real bugs. At least 101, Fox reported, carry lice and “skin infections.”

That means the migrants might well start a typhus epidemic or bring in chagas disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the body louse is the vector for the typhus bacterium, Rickettsia prowazekii.

“Epidemic typhus is spread to people through contact with infected body lice,” CDC says. It noted the disease is uncommon these days, although “epidemic typhus was responsible for millions of deaths in previous centuries.” But cases continue to occur, in areas where extreme overcrowding is common and body lice can travel from one person to another.”

The Benito Juarez Sports Complex, where the migrants are housed, is one such overcrowded area: 6,000 are packed into an area meant for 1,000.

Chagas is another of the many benefits the migrants might bring. And unlike louse-borne typhus, chagas is not rare. It’s epidemic in Latin America.

Blood-scuking triatomine bugs cause the disease:

These blood-sucking bugs get infected by biting an infected animal or person. Once infected, the bugs pass T. cruzi parasites in their feces. The bugs are found in houses made from materials such as mud, adobe, straw, and palm thatch. During the day, the bugs hide in crevices in the walls and roofs. During the night, when the inhabitants are sleeping, the bugs emerge. Because they tend to feed on people’s faces, triatomine bugs are also known as “kissing bugs.”

Some eight million people in Mexico, Central America, and South America have it, and most don’t know it.

Officials also worry about a hepatitis outbreak because of the filth in the Benito Juarez Sports Complex. “The location also has only 35 portable bathrooms,” Fox reported. “A sign reading ‘No Spitting’ was put up, as coughing and spitting by migrants are rampant in the shelter.”

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