Scabies Outbreak At US Border

Hannah Bleau Contributor
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Forty cases of scabies — an infectious skin disease caused by a parasite — have been confirmed in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego Sector, National Review Online reports.

According to these reports, immigrants are required to get clearance after a medical screening and before moving on in the importation process. But some of the illegals are still arriving to the facilities via public transportation with diseases. Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel are supposed to head up the screening process, but reports show that they’re either missing or ignoring the signs. (RELATED: Medical Staffers Threatened With Arrest For Divulging Information On Illegals’ Medical Conditions)

“Management’s more concerned about processing and getting rid of them as quickly as possible than looking at decontamination,” a border patrol agent told the National Review Online. “And [the released illegal immigrants] go out in the community, get on the public transportation, go where they need to go, and it could result in another infestation of scabies being spread everywhere.”

Border patrol agents are told that the illegals have been pre-screened for health conditions before arriving to the facilities. Because of this, the agents don’t take basic precautionary measures like wearing gloves and continually washing their hands. In some cases, border patrol agents are asked to conduct medical screenings despite lacking medical knowledge. Because of this, some agents are catching these diseases.

“[The Border Patrol agent] is not a trained medical professional but did the best he could do,” Ronald Zermeno, health and safety director for the National Border Control Council union, wrote. “He was not told about any precautions to take such as decontamination of himself and uniform.”

NBC News reports that one border patrol agent contracted scabies after screening some illegals with “open sores.”

“This demonstrates that we are not properly trained to identify infectious disease and to properly respond when we suspect a disease,” Zermeno said.

“Border Patrol management is aware of the scabies outbreak but continue[s] to ignore recommendations,” Zermeno wrote. “I request that your staff not down play this incident and call it an isolated incident.” (RELATED: Doctor Says Illegal Immigration’s Causing ‘Public Health Crisis’)

Hannah Bleau