Tuberculosis Cases Reported In Chicago’s Immigrant Shelters

Tuberculosis Cases Reported In Chicago’s Immigrant Shelters

Authored by Stephen Katte via The Epoch Times

Illegal immigrants board a bus as they arrived on a plane from San Antonio at Chicago Rockford International Airport in Rockford, Ill., on Jan. 1, 2024. (WTVO NewsNation via AP)

Chicago’s Health Department has confirmed a few cases of tuberculosis among illegal immigrants who recently arrived in the city. However, officials say there is no cause for concern for the broader population as they believe the disease is contained.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria that generally attacks the lungs and, in some cases, other body parts. Symptoms can include chest pain, fatigue, chills, and coughing up blood. If not treated, TB can be fatal.

Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) officials confirmed in a media statement a “small number” of tuberculosis cases at city-run immigrant shelters but did not state which shelters or how many people are affected.

According to a spokesperson, there is no cause for concern at this time because the disease has been contained, and the affected illegal immigrants are being treated.

“We will continue to offer treatment to individuals as necessary and take the proper precautions to eliminate spread, but we do not consider this a matter presenting a substantial threat to the public,” the spokesperson said.

“To date, CDPH has not confirmed any reports of TB that resulted from exposure to new arrivals in Chicago.”

The CDPH claims an estimated 10 to 20 percent of people from Central and South America have a latent TB infection, which is asymptomatic and general not transmissible to others, but does result in a positive test. According to the CDPH, even those with active cases will likely recover if they receive treatment.

For those who do have active cases of TB disease, CDPH assigns a nurse case manager to each individual and performs a contact tracing investigation,” the spokesperson said.

“TB is curable with antibiotics and is not particularly infectious, typically requiring several hours or more of prolonged close contact between individuals to spread, but CDPH continues to take cases seriously in order to keep it contained.”

The CDPH says in an average year, it expects to see between 100 to 150 tuberculosis cases in Chicago residents.

Alderman Calls for Immunization Standards for Asylum Seekers

Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez said the infections were a wake-up call for the city, and that citizens should start putting pressure on Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to implement American immunization standards for all asylum seekers. Chicago was also recently hit with a registered measles cases, which was reportedly the first case identified in a Chicagoan since 2019.

In an April 3 post on X, Mr. Lopez said “performative politics and hurt feelings” have led to a delayed response to an “obvious looming disaster.”

Anyone who demanded action to protect our residents was called racist, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant by fringe politicians. And now, here we are: measles, now tuberculosis both confirmed in Chicago,” he said.

“Shame on every mouthpiece that worked so hard to keep this secret. I don’t expect apologies or an enlightened response from the performative deniers: those folks have never let facts get in the way of their narrative,” he said.

According to a March 28 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of tuberculosis have jumped to their highest level in a decade. In 2023, tuberculosis case counts jumped by 1,295 from the prior year to 9,615, the agency said. This represents an increase of 16 percent and is the highest level since 2013.

The United States has one of the lowest rates of tuberculosis in the world, the CDC said. However, the uptick in cases means capacity should be strengthened in public health programs to carry out “critical disease control and prevention strategies.”

Original Article


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