Mumps sickens hundreds of detained migrants in 19 states

National

FILE – This Friday, May 17, 2019 file photo shows a vial of a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in Mount Vernon, Ohio. On Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, the first U.S. government report on mumps in migrant detention facilities say the virus has spread through 57 facilities in 19 states since September with new cases continuing as detainees are taken into custody or transferred. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Mumps has swept through 57 immigration detention facilities in 19 states since September, according to the first U.S. government report on the outbreaks in the overloaded immigration system.

The virus sickened 898 adult migrants and 33 detention center staffers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its report Thursday.

New cases continue as migrants are taken into custody or transferred between facilities, the report said. As of last week, outbreaks were happening in 15 facilities in seven states.

In response to the report, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox said medical professionals at detention facilities screen all new detainees within 24 hours of their arrival to ensure that highly contagious diseases are not spread.

Cox said some detainees come from countries where communicable diseases are less controlled than in the U.S. and carry with them the risk of spreading infection.

The CDC report said more than 80% of patients were exposed while in custody. Mumps is a contagious virus that causes swollen glands, puffy cheeks, fever, headaches and, in severe cases, hearing loss and meningitis.

In the U.S., vaccines have drastically reduced the number of mumps cases. Only a few hundred cases are reported most years, with periodic outbreaks involving colleges or other places where people are in close contact.

In the migrant center outbreaks, at least 13 people were hospitalized, the CDC reported.

A large portion of the cases have been in Texas. The Texas Department of State Health Services raised the alarm in December, followed by six other state health departments in early January, prompting what the CDC report calls “a coordinated national outbreak response.”

ICE has given more than 25,000 doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in the affected facilities.

The CDC did not identify detention facilities, but said 34 of them are operated by private companies. The report said migrants were being held in 315 facilities in mid-August.

Nashville immigration attorney R. Andrew Free has been tracking facilities with mumps outbreaks from reports of advocates and lawyers representing detainees.

“This has all the makings of a public health crisis,” Free said. “ICE has demonstrated itself incapable of ensuring the health and safety of people inside these facilities.”

An influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this year has taxed the immigration system. The CDC report dealt only with mumps, not other health problems in detention facilities. At least two migrant children have died of complications of the flu after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol.

The CDC report said detention facilities should follow guidance from state and local health departments when responding to mumps.

___

Follow AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson on Twitter: @CarlaKJohnson

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Scattered Clouds

Abbeville

67°F Scattered Clouds Feels like 67°
Wind
10 mph ESE
Humidity
87%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
65°F Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Clear

Crowley

67°F Clear Feels like 67°
Wind
9 mph SE
Humidity
89%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
65°F Partly cloudy skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Clear

Opelousas

65°F Clear Feels like 65°
Wind
12 mph ESE
Humidity
88%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low 63F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
65°F Partly cloudy skies this evening will become overcast overnight. Low 63F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Few Clouds

Breaux Bridge

67°F Few Clouds Feels like 67°
Wind
5 mph
Humidity
84%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
65°F Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 64F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Few Clouds

New Iberia

66°F Few Clouds Feels like 66°
Wind
8 mph SE
Humidity
96%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy in the evening. Increasing clouds with periods of showers after midnight. Low around 45F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%.
62°F Partly cloudy in the evening. Increasing clouds with periods of showers after midnight. Low around 45F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%.
Wind
4 mph WSW
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent

Sidebar

Trending Stories