The President of the Texas Medical Association is worried that the rush of Central American children coming into the country will spread disease in the state, and the TMA is calling on President Obama and Governor Perry to require that every child undergo a complete medical exam before being processed out of the holding center and allowed into the community, 1200 WOAI’s Berit Mason reports.
Dr. Austin King says he is particularly worried about tuberculosis, pertussis, measles, and other contagious diseases.
“We have physicians volunteers down there who are seeing those who have obviously been sickened,” Dr. King told 1200 WOAI news. “But the vast majority of them, 95%, are processed too quickly.”
Some physicians have expressed concerns that the children are bringing drug resistance strains of diseases like tuberculosis into the U.S., and have even expressed concern about more scary diseases like polio, diphtheria, and typhoid fever coming into the U.S. along with the children.
He says the huge press of children coming into the U.S. has made it difficult for officials to process each one efficiently.
“The kids are taken to the immigration facilities where they are held for a few days, and then they are given a bus ticket and they are send on out,” King said.
Border officials stress that they do check every child fro scabies and lice before the child enters the holding center.
Dr. King says communicable disease knows no borders, and doctors need to be on hand to act as the border patrol.
“First of all their hygiene,” he says. “You have to remember, these kids have been traveling for two or three weeks, generally with only the clothes on their backs, and they are hungry most of the time.”
He says providing first responder medical care to the kids is not only the humane thing to do, it also protects U.S. residents from potential serious and deadly diseases.”