Tuesday, March 5, 2019
200 Cases of Mumps Confirmed in Texas Migrant Detention Centers
Texas health officials report that nearly 200 people contracted mumps in migrant detention facilities located across the state so far this fiscal year.
Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services stated that 186 people in migrant detention centers located in Texas had confirmed cases of mumps. The cases impacted migrant adults and minors as well as detention center workers, the Texas Tribune reported.
There have been "no reported transmission (of mumps) to the community," State Health Services Spokeswoman Lara Anton told the news outlet. She said the state health agency isn't aware of the vaccination status of migrant adults and children who enter the US. However, "all unaccompanied minors are vaccinated when they're detained."
Mumps cases reached a high of 191 in 2016, officials stated. This was the highest number in 22 years. Detention center operators are required to report illnesses that occur among their migrant population and those affecting personnel. Required reporting includes cases of mumps, measles, chicken pox, HIV/AIDS, tetanus, hepatitis and tuberculosis, officials said.
While migrants are screened for illness or mental health issues upon their initial intake, symptoms of mumps can take up to 25 days to appear. US Office of Refugee Resettlement officials previously told Breitbart News that families can only be held for 20 days without a hearing.
"We go in and take the measures that we need to protect against further spread," City of Laredo, Texas, Health Department Director Hector Gonzalez told the Texas Tribune. He said these measures include isolating patients, providing vaccinations and urging detainees to remember to wash their hands and cover their mouths when coughing.
Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department said he confirmed 7 cases of mumps on February 9. That number has since increased to 11, he said. "It tells me the isolation and quarantine efforts aren't being done as diligently as it could be done," the doctor stated.
"Let’s say [the warden] does everything exactly right. He’s still at risk," Persse said. This is due to the situation where migrants are transferred in from other facilities where they could've been exposed and their symptoms haven't yet manifested.
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