Vaccinating migrants could save US children, outbreaks in Chicago were preventable, say experts

Medical experts say that the recent outbreak of measles and tuberculosis in Chicago’s migrant shelters could have been avoided through vaccination.

The problem, according to Fox News, is that “[u]nlike most U.S.-born children who have to follow strict vaccination schedules, migrant students were, up until last month, not required to be vaccinated in order to attend school in Chicago under an exemption for children living in unstable housing.”

This lack of a strict vaccination schedule has, it would appear, engendered some deeply troubling results.

“Chicago health officials said Wednesday that a ‘small number’ of TB cases were reported at some migrant facilities, following reports of dozens of measles cases at these facilities,” according to Fox News.

Who could have expected this would happen? Anybody with a brain.

“To be honest, I’m not surprised,” Dr. Janette Nesheiwat told Fox News. “We have open borders with all sorts of people coming in from countries from all over the world bringing in various illnesses, viruses, disease and bacterial infections.”

True. Nearly 40,000 criminal aliens have reportedly arrived in Chicago since late 2022, and the vast majority of them have never been medically screened or vaccinated.

Nesheiwat believes the measles outbreak could have been prevented with the distribution of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

“You’re protecting against serious, potentially life-threatening, infections or complications,” she said of the vaccine. There is a high rate of effectiveness with these vaccines, so the outbreak was absolutely preventable.”

As for the TB outbreak, Nesheiwat believes it could have been prevented by promoting good hygiene among the migrants and making certain they’re not living in cramped conditions.

“You can catch tuberculosis if someone is coughing or sneezing or in close contact,” she said. “The bacteria from those particles gets into the air, and anybody nearby will breathe that in and that’s how they pick it up and that’s how they catch it.”

“It’s concerning to those who may have weak immune systems or who have underlying medical problems like asthma, lung disease, heart disease. “The good news is we have treatment for it, but the not-so-good news is the treatment is for six to 12 months of treatment of multiple antibiotics. What’s scary is that there are some strains of tuberculosis that are resistant to the typical antibiotics,” she added.

Nesheiwat also expressed fears that, even if the illegal aliens are prescribed treatments, they may not take their medications, which could lead to the outbreak spreading and worsening.

Meanwhile, Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins warned that the conditions at these shelters are now a “public health concern” given that TB has the potential to mutate into a chronic disease with “a constellation of health complications affecting almost every organ system in the body.”

“The reports of the crowding are that it is the worst it’s ever been in recent history,” he said. “We’re seeing outbreaks in highly susceptible populations that are preventable. One of the sort of basics in public health is that when people in a crowded area become sick, they should be separated.”

“They should not be in close contact with others when they have no choice, then that is a recipe for an outbreak. However, the amount of time spent in the shelter has decreased, suggesting that people may manifest the infection after their time in the shelter,” he added.

He further stated that, although measles isn’t fatal, it can trigger permanent health damage in children. He also noted that the MMR vaccine doesn’t provide immediate immunity — it takes time to take effect.

“So I think their issue in Chicago is they’re discovering cases of measles after the fact,” he said. “I don’t think there is a significant risk to the public, because most people are vaccinated against measles while tuberculosis requires some kind of direct interaction. But a migrant who is sick not only needs help, but they also need some degree of precaution.”

Vivek Saxena


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles