The thousands of migrants amassed at the U.S. southern border with Mexico present countless challenges to the federal agencies tasked to process them, including dealing with those who are sick with highly contagious diseases.
Reuters reported that as of March 6, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reports that some 50,000 migrants are in federal detention and of those, 2,287 migrants are in quarantine with diseases largely irradiated in the United States, including mumps and chicken pox. Many are also ill with strains of influenza, according to records.
Reuters reported on migrants in the Pine Prairie detention center in Louisiana:
Internal emails reviewed by Reuters reveal the complications of managing outbreaks like the one at Pine Prairie, since immigrant detainees often are transferred around the country and infected people do not necessarily show symptoms of viral diseases even when they are contagious.
Mumps can easily spread through droplets of saliva in the air, especially in close quarters. While most people recover within a few weeks, complications include brain swelling, sterility and hearing loss.