Tuesday, June 25, 2024
- Advertisment -

Cases of Tuberculosis Confirmed in Chicago Migrant Shelters

0
Cases of Tuberculosis Confirmed in Chicago Migrant Shelters
Source: Pinterest

Cases of Tuberculosis Confirmed in Chicago Migrant Shelters

Source: Pinterest

Disease outbreaks can happen in places with overcrowding and limited space. There is no better word to describe the US right now besides overcrowded, so it is not surprising that disease has been breeding in close quarters. On Wednesday, Chicago Health Officials confirmed that a “small number” of tuberculosis (TB) cases have been recorded in migrant shelters in the city of Chicago.
These cases were reported by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and reportedly cropped up in a “few different shelters” but would not say exactly how many cases there are, nor which shelters have witnessed confirmed cases.

A Tuberculosis Outbreak

Source: Pinterest

Tuberculosis is an infectious bacteria that targets the lungs and can be spread through the air and via an infected person’s cough.

“These outbreaks happen in close quarters, people who are living close to one another,” said Anriuddha Hazara, an associate professor of medicine, Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the University of Chicago.

How It Spreads

Source: Pinterest

TB travels via droplets that come about usually when someone is actively coughing them up.
“It can only be spread by someone with active tuberculosis disease. Someone who is actively coughing up these droplets –  that is how it gets spread,” said Dr. Gary Reschak, a pediatrician at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital.

All Infections Are Not Active

Source: Pinterest

There are people who contract TB and are lucky enough not to develop the symptoms of an active infection.
“Not everyone who acquires TB will develop an active infection. A percentage will actually develop what we call a latent infection. But that latent TB can then reactivate to become active TB at some point in the future,” said Anriuddha Hazara, an associate professor of medicine, Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the University of Chicago. He added, “They can still receive anti-TB therapy to make sure that latent infection is fully eradicated.”

No Cause for Panic

Source: Pinterest

According to Dr. Hazara, there is no cause for concern about the outbreak spreading among the general populace. After all, TB requires hours of prolonged contact with an infected individual to be transmitted.
“The people who are most at risk of tuberculosis are the other migrants living in that shelter,” said Hazara.

There Can Be Fatal Consequences

Source: Pinterest

The CDC says that TB is “preventable and treatable in most cases” and that available anti-TB drugs usually cures it.
However, if left untreated, TB can be fatal, which presents a problem in a migrant population because infected migrants may be less likely to come forward to report symptoms amidst the wave of migrant evictions happening in the city.

There Have Been Other Outbreaks

Source: Pinterest

This is not the first time a disease outbreak is suspected to have occurred within Chicago migrant shelters.
Authorities have identified more than 50 Measles cases in the city this year, and Fox recently reported that half of the reported measles cases in the US originated from Chicago. The majority of measles cases in the city were reportedly transmitted in the Pilsen migrant shelter.

A Scarcity of Vaccinations

Source: Pinterest

CDPH Commissioner Olusimbo Ige believes that new arrivals to Chicago aren’t bringing in measles but are instead more susceptible to its spread because they lack vaccinations.
“New arrivals didn’t bring measles to Chicago; it was circulating here, and they are vulnerable to it because many come from countries where they didn’t receive the vaccinations we in the United States do, and they’re living in congregate settings where it can spread more easily,” Ige said.

Mitigating the Spread

Source: Pinterest

The measles outbreak is being taken very seriously by the CDPH. The city’s health organization is scrambling to vaccinate migrants. Since the first measles case was reported, they have successfully vaccinated more than 5,000 new arrivals.
“We’re now doing the hard work to contain that spread, and I want to thank the CDPH staff and our many partners, in particular Prism and Cimpar, who are making this happen,” Ige said.

Happenings at Pilsen 

Source: Pinterest

A lot of tragic events have happened at Pilsen, which is home to 1,334 migrants. There was a measles outbreak at the shelter, and one 5-year-old child recently fell ill and died, with officials saying the death was attributed to sepsis, COVID-19, adenovirus, and rhinovirus/enterovirus.
Now, at least five people have been moved from Pilsen, the city’s largest migrant center, to hospitals in the city to be treated for TB.

There Was Warning for Months

Source: Pinterest

In an X post, Democrat Alderman/Committeeman Raymond Lopez has criticized Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s inability to prevent this. As far as Lopez is concerned, outbreak of disease among migrants is a preventable problem, but the city has been dragging its feet.
Lopez wrote, “I have warned Chicago for months about what was already here. Performative politics and hurt feelings kept City Hall from avoiding the obvious looming disaster.”

Alarmists Called Racist

Source: Pinterest

Lopez also lashed out at others who he says tried to label those who were raising alarms as bigots.
“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. Shame on every mouthpiece that worked so hard to keep this secret,” Lopez wrote.