Skip to comments.Are illegals making U.S. a leper colony? (Leprosy in America)
Posted on 05/22/2005 2:19:16 PM PDT by wagglebee
Leprosy, the contagious skin disease evoking thoughts of biblical and Medieval times, is now making its mark in the United States, and many believe the influx of illegal aliens is a main factor.
"Americans should be told that diseases long eradicated in this country tuberculosis, leprosy, polio, for example and other extremely contagious diseases have been linked directly to illegals," Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., told the Business Journal of Phoenix. "For example, in 40 years, only 900 persons were afflicted by leprosy in the U.S.; in the past three years, more than 7,000 cases have been presented."
"This emerging crisis exposes the upside-down thinking of federal immigration policy," he continued. "While legal immigrants must undergo health screening prior to entering the U.S., illegal immigrants far more likely to be carrying contagious diseases are crawling under that safeguard and going undetected until they infect extraordinary numbers of American residents."
The number of cases of leprosy, now known as Hansen's disease, among immigrants to the U.S. has more than doubled since 2000, according to a news report from Columbia University.
While the overall figure is small compared to other countries, some researchers fear the trend could lead to the disease spreading to the U.S.-born population.
"It's creeping into the U.S.," Dr. William Levis, head of the New York Hansen's Disease Clinic, told Columbia News Service. "This is a real phenomenon. It's a public health threat. New York is endemic now, and nobody's noticed."
Levis thinks America could be on the verge of an epidemic.
"We just don't know when these epidemics are going to occur," he said. "But we're on the cusp of it here, because we're starting to see endemic cases that we didn't see 25 years ago."
According to Steve Pfeifer, head of statistics and epidemiology at the National Hansen's Disease Program, only about two dozen new cases are found each year in U.S.-born patients, with that number remaining stable for decades.
But Pfeifer suggests many aliens are coming to the U.S. specifically to get treated for their skin condition, due to the short time between many immigrants' entry to the U.S. and their diagnosis with leprosy.
"They're coming to be treated because they get treatment free and probably get better treatment here," he told Columbia. "Somebody down there diagnoses them and says, 'Hey, you've got leprosy, and your best course of action is probably high-tailing to the U.S.'"
The fear is that since the disease remains contagious until treatment is commenced, a surge of diagnosed-but-untreated patients could mean a spread of leprosy into the population of those born in America.
Pfeifer said he had not issued an official report on the dangerous trend, fearing that anti-immigration groups would become vocal against centers providing free health care for illegals.
"A lot of our cases are imported," said Dr. Terry Williams, who treats leprosy victims in Houston. "We see patients from everywhere Africa, the Philippines, China, South America."
Williams confirms that some of his patients came to the U.S. specifically for treatment, telling Columbia, "Certainly we do see some of that. We've had even a couple of patients from Cuba who were put on a boat by Castro just to get them out of the country they made their way here through Mexico and Central America basically just to get treated. ... We treat them; our job isn't to be immigration police."
But not all experts have such a gloomy outlook.
Dr. Denis Daumerie, head of the World Health Organization's leprosy-elimination program, thinks claims of immigrants causing a spike in U.S. leprosy are overstated.
"There is no risk of an epidemic of leprosy," he told Columbia. "There's absolutely no risk that the few immigrants who are affected by the disease, if they are diagnosed and treated, will spread the disease in the U.S."
This is a frightening statistic.
Too bad the GOP is only interested in enlarging socialism and particularly 'free' healthcare. When foreigners read that the U.S. government has a $600 billion dollar prescription drug-giveaway the consequences should be obvious.
If you want more of something, subsidize it...
Illegal Immigration Ping.....
Keep the tip...
What do you call a leper in a bathtub?
Massachusetts has seen some leprosy coming from Brazil...
How does one respond to that?
Illegal aliens are the gift that just keeps on giving
Leprosy(Hansen's disease),chagras,(MDR)Multi-drug resitant tuberculosis,Hepatitis types A,B,C
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons report includes a strong prescription for protecting the health of Americans:
* Closing America's borders with fences, high-tech security devices and troops.
* Rescinding the U.S. citizenship of "anchor babies."
* Punishing the aiding and abetting of illegal aliens as a crime.
* An end to amnesty programs.
This is SO right. Too bad most of our politicians don't have a bit of common sense. JD Hayworth understands. Tom Tancredo understands.
By jumping into my Wayback Machine I could witness the immigrant health screenings at Ellis Island
Seal the Borders & stop illegals NOW!
This is yet another story you won't see posted at DU folks
Leprosy is not easily transmitted. Only about 5% of people who live in the same household as someone with leprosy contract the disease. And it takes a long time to develop -- usually 4-8 years. I suspect this increase in U.S. leprosy cases is largely confined to certain immigrant groups from countries where it is endemic (most of whom already had it when they got here, but just weren't symptomatic yet), and is at least partly due to increased diagnosis (read: more free medical care to illegal immigrants). Also, it's now completely curable. So don't panic!
Do you know if there is an ethnic/racial profile of susceptibility? Or is that such a politically incorrect question that researchers haven't been allowed to study it or publish study results?
"We've had even a couple of patients from Cuba who were put on a boat by Castro just to get them out of the country ? they made their way here through Mexico and Central America basically just to get treated. ..."
Wait a minute here...the Hollywood liberals have been telling us that Cuba has the best health care system in the world.
Now why would these lepers need to be shipped out of Cuba if liberals are telling us the truth?
The problem isn't so much with Leprosy as with a variety of other diseases brought in by illegals. California has been dealing with this problem since the mid 1980'S.
""There is no risk of an epidemic of leprosy," he told Columbia. "There's absolutely no risk that the few immigrants who are affected by the disease, if they are diagnosed and treated, will spread the disease in the U.S."
Great Line, if they are diagnosed and treated!!!!!
Does this jerk know that there are upwards of 20,000,000 Illegals have invaded this country and nobody knows where they are or how healthy they are..
Another great add to the Legacy of Jorge W. Bush and his do nothing Policy on the border..
I have voted republican an all my life, Never Again!!!