Mumps, other outbreaks force U.S. detention centers to quarantine over 2,000 migrants

U.S. | 2/26/2015 | Mica Rosenberg
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(Reuters) - Christian Mejia thought he had a shot at getting out of immigration detention in rural Louisiana after he found a lawyer to help him seek asylum.

Then he was quarantined.

January - Outbreak - Pine - Prairie - US

In early January, a mumps outbreak at the privately run Pine Prairie U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center put Mejia and hundreds of other detainees on lockdown. “When there is just one person who is sick, everybody pays,” Mejia, 19, said in a phone interview from the Pine Prairie center describing weeks without visits and access to the library and dining hall.

His attorney was not allowed in, but his immigration court case continued anyway - over a video conference line. On Feb. 12, the judge ordered Mejia deported back to Honduras.

Number - People - Immigration - Detention - Trump

The number of people amassed in immigration detention under the Trump administration has reached record highs, raising concerns among migrant advocates about disease outbreaks and resulting quarantines that limit access to legal services.

As of March 6, more than 50,000 migrants were in detention, according to ICE data.

Internal - Emails - Reuters - Complications - Outbreaks

Internal emails reviewed by Reuters reveal the complications of managing outbreaks like the one at Pine Prairie, since immigrant detainees often are transferred around the country and infected people do not necessarily show symptoms of viral diseases even when they are contagious.

Mumps can easily spread through droplets of saliva in the air, especially in close quarters. While most people recover within a few weeks, complications include brain swelling, sterility and hearing loss.

ICE - Health - Officials - Cases - Mumps

ICE health officials have been notified of 236 confirmed or probable cases of mumps among detainees in 51 facilities in the past 12 months, compared to no cases detected between January 2016 and February 2018. Last year, 423 detainees were determined to have influenza and 461 to have chicken pox. All three diseases are largely preventable by vaccine.

As of March 7,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: U.S.
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