Feds Not Properly Monitoring Immigrants at Risk for Carrying Zika

labtest_rotatorWith the Zika virus causing a world-wide medical panic, it makes sense that the U.S. Federal Government should do everything it can to monitor and limit the impact this frightening malady may have on citizens. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is declining to perform basic medical screenings on legal immigrants and visitors from high-risk countries. In a statement obtained by Breitbart, DHS officials said they are monitoring immigrants for symptoms, and only isolating those they who show tangible signs of illness. Pregnant illegal aliens who appear ill are given additional care and testing by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

A policy of waiting until symptoms manifest themselves is an unacceptable roll of the dice by the federal government. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in five people infected with Zika never show symptoms. Despite this, it is still possible for them to transmit the disease through birth, sexual activity or blood-to-blood contact (primarily in transfusions). And considering some experts believe the virus can remain in a person’s system for up to a month, there is a risk that many immigrants from Zika-prone countries could spend considerable time in the country before they no longer carry the virus.

Prevention is the foundation of good medicine, so we need to implement common-sense preventive screenings, starting with enhanced body temperature scanning, for individuals coming from high-risk areas. This goes beyond Zika. In 2014, the rise of Ebola led to fear that an epidemic could spread before a proper vaccination could be developed. Insufficient screening resulted in a Liberian national entering the U.S. after being infected with the disease, placing at least 100 other people at great risk of contracting Ebola. As we cannot continue to rely on chance as a practical strategy, a policy of caution is critical to preventing new and known epidemics from breaking out in the United States.

However, even if the CDC and DHS took the necessary steps to properly screen and monitor at-risk immigrants, many who enter the country illegally will slip by these precautions. This means many who may be infected with contagious conditions will go unnoticed unless treatment is sought — another risk that could be mitigated if the federal government took border security seriously.

avatar About Spencer Raley

Spencer joined FAIR in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Comments

  1. avatar alf564 says:

    After all, we DUMBORATS do not want to offend anybody….

    • avatar Shane says:

      President Obama and the Dimocrats place a very low priority on protecting Americans from diseases, illegal alien criminals, and Islamic jihadis. This is why we need to elect a GOP president in November!

  2. avatar Rossbach says:

    Anyone who still believes that “our” government cares anything about the health, safety, or welfare of the American people hasn’t been paying attention for the past 5 decades.

  3. avatar SecBorders says:

    This is outrageous! What’s the point of having a Centers for Disease Control if they don’t control what people come into this country and screen all of them who are from high risk parts of the world? But then we have a Department of Homeland Security and our borders still aren’t secure 15 years after 9-11.

    • CDC Also Disagrees With the Census Bureau in 2000

      On life expectancy of Americans, the Census Bureau has us living shorter life spans to the 1960s levels. CDC alleges the opposite.

  4. avatar Kyle says:

    And we should be surprised, but definitely outraged of their continued dereliction of duty, while raping U.S. taxpayers with their extreme incompetence.