TB is on the rise. Guess why!
After more than two decades of steady decline in active cases of tuberculosis in America, the trend has now reversed.
It's time for fools to take a bow. Congratulations Marxists, and complicit members of the GOP. Your commitment to importing large numbers of people from third-world countries is really paying off.
TB bacteria (via Flickr).
Then there's the issue of screening. Per a Star Tribune report:
Immigrants and refugees are screened for TB and treated before entering the United States. Tourists, students and temporary workers are not screened[.] ...
Because TB hits some ethnic and racial groups harder than others, TB patients can face discrimination and social isolation. Public health officials worry about finding ways to target high-risk populations with TB education and treatment without stigmatizing those groups.
Why aren't we testing everyone, and especially those from regions where we know TB is endemic? Come on, folks. Stigma versus public health risk? Common sense, no?
We'd rather put healthy people at risk lest we offend some foreigner carrying a potentially deadly disease. If someone wants to come here, he'll need to deal with whatever "stigma" he feels when we test him for a contagious and increasingly fatal disease. Geez. You'd think people would be glad to be tested for the sake of their health, the health of their loved ones, and the health of those around them.
But apparently not.
Meanwhile, as you might imagine, treating tuberculosis is labor-intensive and costly. The treatment regimen lasts at least six months, if not longer. Some programs require that health care workers witness patients swallowing every dose of medication and that they monitor them for side-effects. If a patient can't get to a health clinic, the worker goes to wherever the patient resides. All the while, cultural and language barriers present additional challenges.
Then there's the financial cost.
For patients who respond to standard treatment, the cost of treating active TB is about $17,000 per person. For those who have drug-resistant strains, the cost is anywhere from $130,000 to $430,000, depending on how resistant the strain is.
Got that? Taxpayers may shell out nearly half a million dollars to treat one case of a drug-resistant strain of TB.
Then there's the issue of tracking. After folks develop active disease, tracking them is spotty. So if they fall off the radar, oh, well.
And as you probably guessed, no state is immune to this madness, though some regions account for a disproportionately high number of cases.
California, Texas, New York, and Florida (states with the largest number of foreign-born residents) have more than half the active TB cases in the country. Despite California having the largest TB prevention and control program, its infection rate is nearly twice the national average, though that figure is likely higher since about 2.5 million Californians who are infected are unaware they have it.
In addition, data from just a few years ago in Minnesota showed that 26% of all foreign-born cases of TB were Somalis who came here through the "refugee resettlement" program and 20% of these colonizers forced upon the good people of Minnesota tested positive for latent TB (latent TB is not contagious, but it can turn into active TB, which is contagious).
And if I may take a brief detour, in addition to TB, leprosy is making a comeback, as is chicken pox. We're also seeing cases of flesh-eating bacteria. In addition, CDC data document migrants from Bhutan, Burma, Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Central America infected with malaria, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, dengue virus, zika virus, and a wide array of intestinal parasites, among others. And that's just communicable diseases that have been reported in those we know about (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
The impact of this is devastating. Border patrol is on the front line, battling diseases, as its people contend with sick migrants, most of whom aren't vaccinated. Buildings have become infested with scabies. Many of the illegal wannabes showing up with symptoms aren't being quarantined. And our resources are being depleted and misdirected.
Border patrol agents spend tens of thousands of hours transporting sick migrants to urgent care clinics and hospitals, which diverts time and attention from where they belong. Dealing with sick migrants is also impacting local communities who are struggling with limited resources to take care of their own citizens, no less citizens from some other country.
And so I ask: why are these people even in the United States? Why are they on our side of the border? Shouldn't they be on the Mexican side of the border?
Why are we obliged to take care of them? It's a "humanitarian crisis" of their own making. I resent my tax dollars being spent taking care of people who made the choice to drag themselves and their kids on a dangerous journey to enter the United States illegally or make a bogus claim for asylum. Let them figure out how to make their own country better instead of coming here and making ours worse.
We don't need "immigration reform." We need to secure our border and enforce our immigration laws. Why is that so hard?