Catch, and release, and catch the measles and mumps?
In a country as large as the U.S., previously eradicated diseases such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough are making a big comeback. Religious exemptionists are being set up to take the blame in the press. The question that isn't being asked is how these epidemics coincide the current migrant surge from Central America, with tens of thousands of unvetted illegal aliens being released into the interior of the U.S. under catch and release. There's a measles and mumps resurgence in some of those countries, and 1.5 million illegal aliens from largely those countries are expected to roll in here. Why so incurious? It's as if the press doesn't want to know, because it interferes with its "narrative."
But as the migrants surge in, the stories of measles and mumps resurging here are all over the local presses now.
Rockland County, north of Yonkers and New York City:
In a move aimed at getting the public's attention, officials in New York's Rockland County have declared a state of emergency in response to an ongoing measles outbreak.
Oakland County, north of Detroit:
Livingston County residents should be concerned about a measles outbreak in nearby Oakland County and should protect themselves by being vaccinated if they are not already, a county health department official said.
Cook County, around Chicago:
A case of measles has been confirmed in Chicago's northern suburbs, and health officials are putting out a warning to others who might have been exposed.
The Cook County Department of Public Health released a list late Wednesday of 16 locations in the northern suburbs and downtown Chicago the infected person visited before the illness was discovered.
Placer County, near Sacramento:
AUBURN, Calif. (KCRA) — Health officials are investigating three cases of the measles in one family in Placer County.
Santa Clara County, around San Jose:
SANTA CLARA CO., Calif. (KGO) — An infected tourist recently made several stops across Santa Clara County and may have exposed shoppers, diners and other visitors to measles.
Clark County, in southern Washington state:
Clark County, Washington, just across the state border from Portland, Oregon, has had the most widely reported outbreak.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, there's a major outbreak of the mumps:
Philadelphia's Temple University is urging its students and faculty to get mumps vaccinations amid an outbreak that has likely sickened more than 100 people over two months.
The outlook for the U.S., according to public health experts, is pretty grim:
These days, with massive outbreaks in the Philippines and Ukraine, more than 80,000 cases in the past year in Europe, and ongoing epidemics in New York, Washington, Texas, Illinois, and California, measles does not feel like an endangered virus.
There's less talk about measles eradication in 2019. In fact, projections about the future of measles are much more somber now than they were in the early aughts. More measles, not less, appear [sic] to be on the horizon, at least in the near term, experts glumly admit.
There are quite a few other areas, shown on this PopSci map here. The aim of that article is to "blame" people with religious exemptions for the spread of the measles, and indeed, areas with high religious exemptions are some of the hardest hit. But the map shows outbreaks in outlined counties, where measles has been reported — and those places aren't high religious exemption areas.
It doesn't explain why so many measles outbreaks are occurring in places without high concentrations of people with religious exemptions. Those counties, in fact, are the vast majority.
So it has to be something else, some push factor. Experts do say measles and mumps outbreaks coincide with travel, as these are highly contagious diseases.
And speaking of travel, there's a powerful migrant surge at the border, with the Border Patrol's reintroduction of "catch and release," making it a possibility that unvetted migration is a factor in the spread of measles, too.
Now, I've already noted that Central America is no Venezuela (where measles outbreaks — and deaths — are very high, and spreading like wildfire into Brazil). The press paints Central America's big three countries — Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador — as unlivable hellholes to bolster the asylum claims of the millions who are attempting to come here without visas or authorization. These countries aren't. They have seen high economic growth and rising living conditions, as well as an abundance of jobs in the past decade. They also have fairly high vaccination rates, around the 80% to 90% level for measles, mumps, and whooping cough (pertussis). According to World Bank data, El Salvador's overall vaccination rate is 85%. Honduras's is 97%. Guatemala's is 86%.
But coming short of 90%, which is the approximate level for "herd immunity" to prevent a disease such as measles from spreading from an unvaccinated person to the very vulnerable who cannot be vaccinated, such as babies, leaves open the possibility that the Central Americans who aren't coming here with visas in hand also may be the ones who aren't vaccinating, either. It's already been reported, for instance, that Honduras has a big mumps outbreak going on right now. Mumps is known to have spread in an immigration detention center in Texas, forcing authorities to quarantine 2,000 people. El Salvador has had a rise in whooping cough cases. Guatemala has had a major measles outbreak, strong enough to trigger a recent U.S. embassy travel warning. Think these diseases can't be coming into the broader U.S. population now that catch and release of unvetted aliens from those countries is now the U.S. policy and 100,000 illegal, unvetted migrants have been released into the U.S. interior in just the past three months?
I don't. Like everything, it's a question worth asking, given what we know. The press may be focused on the passive receptors of the communicable disease, taking aim at crowds they don't like in the Christian and Jewish communities that seek religious exemptions to vaccines, but the active transmission belts, brought on by different kinds of travel, are worth looking at, too, because those can be controlled. What's that again about a wall and a presidential emergency over the border? The reality is, illegal migration is travel, same as tourist flights. Maybe President Trump really is smarter than the biased press that still isn't asking about this possibility.