By Rick Oltman, December 3, 2018
As of last week, over 2,000 people, about one-third, from the migrant caravan now parked in Tijuana, Mexico, have respiratory infections. First reports indicate there are three cases of tuberculosis, four cases of HIV/AIDS, four cases of chickenpox, as well as lice and skin infections. These numbers are sure to grow, given the squalor in their crowded encampments. Garbage is piling up and rain and cold weather are coming soon. Hepatitis is sure to follow. There are pregnant women in the group. The small number of children who were brought along are almost most certainly unvaccinated.
They have put up “No Spitting” signs in the camps, reminiscent of the same signs on the walls of New York City subway stations in the early to mid-20th century, as an attempt to stop the spread of tuberculosis caused by spitting around other people.
The prognosis is grim. An epidemic could break out at any time. This situation needs to be responded to like a 5-alarm fire.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addressed the cross-border risks of disease before the caravan debacle:
Studies have identified the importance of cross-border movement in the transmission of various diseases, including HIV, measles, pertussis, rubella, rabies, hepatitis A, influenza, tuberculosis, shigellosis, syphilis, Mycobacterium bovis infection, brucellosis, and food-borne diseases, such as infections associated with raw cheese and produce.
The CDC works with the Mexican Secretariat of Health to deal with the health issues. The CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) has staff at El Paso, Texas, and San Diego, California who work closely with local, state, federal, and Mexican health authorities. The U.S. can send medicines and other aid; Mexican health officials know what to do.
If things really begin to get worse, we can send healthcare workers, but before we do that, I suggest the United Nations get off their useless tooches and send people and resources to Tijuana instead of arrogantly ordering the United States to take in all the migrants from the caravan, which they did at the end of October.
The new Mexican President Lopez-Obrador assumed his office on Saturday. Sunday the Associated Press reported, In one of his first acts in office, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has signed an agreement with his counterparts from three Central American countries to establish a development plan to stem the flow of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.
I would suspect he will further address this issue and be open to cooperation with the U.S. It would be a good restart of relations for both countries.
Presuming the “migrant caravan” will begin with Mexican assistance to move south as soon as possible, I have a suggestion that would be a great public relations victory for both countries, but more importantly, would benefit those returning home greatly: Vaccinate them all against whatever diseases are prevalent in their home country.
Offer inoculations to everyone returning home. It would make for a healthier population in their home country, and reduce dangerous diseases that can cross a border as fast as a person can move. This situation is perfect for the CDC who added “Prevention” to their name in October 1992.
We can do this. We can show compassion, ease human suffering, and defend and secure our border all at the same time.
America can do this.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]
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