There’s a new warning about the three caravans of migrants coming from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico toward the southern U.S. border: They could be carrying contagious diseases that would create havoc for America’s health system.
“Of course it could happen here,” said Dr. Jane Orient, the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Her comments came in a report by government watchdog Judicial Watch.
“It’s insane to bring in migrants from any country without proper health screening,” she said.
The caravans pose “a serious public health threat and could bring dangerous diseases into the country,” the report said.
Orient explained there are extremely drug-resistant strands of tuberculosis among the infectious diseases the Central American migrants are likely to bring in.
Others include mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, both widespread in the region.
Meanwhile, Venezuelans fleeing their distressed nation are spreading to neighboring countries diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, dengue, tuberculosis and AIDS, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Many of the diseases had been considered eradicated in the neighboring Latin American countries.
Measles, according to Pan American Health Organization officials, is spreading through Brazil to Colombia, Peru and Argentina.
Orient pointed out that legal immigrants are not screened as they should be.
“The government is putting kids with lice and scabies and other health issues in American schools without people knowing the health risks,” she said in the report.
It’s not a new problem.
“Years ago, when Barack Obama let tens of thousands of illegal immigrant minors into the country, health experts warned about the serious health risks. Most of the Unaccompanied Alien Children came from Central America, like the current caravan, and they crossed into the U.S. through Mexico, in the same way that the caravan expects to,” Judicial Watch reported.
“Swine flu, dengue fever and Ebola were among the diseases that the hordes of UACs brought with them, according to lawmakers and medical experts interviewed by Judicial Watch during the influx.”
The report said that at the time, a U.S. congressman, who is also a medical doctor, told Judicial Watch “about the danger to the American public as well as the Border Patrol agents forced to care for the UACs.”
The former lawmaker, Phil Gingrey, referred to it as a “severe and dangerous” crisis because the Central American youths were importing infectious diseases considered to be largely eradicated in this country.