• May 31, 2023

22% of Refugees Resettled in Minnesota Test Positive for Tuberculosis


Refugees make Americans sick……….literally.  The latest example is the number of cases of tuberculosis found among the resettled refugees in Minnesota.  Tuberculosis was almost eradicated in the United States prior to the emergence of refugees, mostly from Somalia.  In 2015, cases of tuberculosis rose in the Untied States for the first time in 23 years, rising by 1.7%.

Minnesota’s Star Tribune published:

TB is an airborne infectious disease caused by bacteria that spreads through the air, person to person, when someone coughs or sneezes. One in three people worldwide have latent TB, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, up to 13 million people have been exposed to TB and could develop the disease.

Every year, tuberculosis claims 1.5 million lives worldwide and 500 to 600 in this country.

Meanwhile, the  Refugee Health Quarterly, published by the Minnesota Department of Health reports that:

Minnesota had 150 cases of TB in 2015, compared to 147 cases in 2014 (a 2 percent increase). The most common risk factor for TB cases in Minnesota is being from a country where TB is common.

TB screening is offered to all refugees during the domestic refugee health exam.

In 2014, 22 percent of refugees screened tested positive for LTBI (latent tuberculosis infection).

The Center for Disease Control say they are mystified by the increase in cases of TB:

The CDC is still trying to determine the reason for the uptick.

The goal set by the CDC, in 1989, of eliminating TB by 2010 — defined as less than one case in a million people — remains elusive. Even if the trend of declining cases had continued, the United States would not have eliminated TB by the end of this century, the CDC said.

“We are not yet certain why TB incidence has leveled off, but we do know it indicates the need for a new, expanded approach to TB elimination,” said Dr. Philip LoBue, director of the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, in an email.

Treating TB can be a very expensive proposition.  Guess who pays?  Also from the CDC:

The cost of treating an active TB case that is susceptible or responsive to drugs averages $17,000, according to the CDC. Care of patients with drug-resistant TB, which can result from taking antibiotics prescribed before TB was properly diagnosed, costs many times more: $134,000 for a multidrug-resistant patient and $430,000 for an extensively drug-resistant one.

Gee, do you think it could be all the refugees?  Tuberculosis is not the only disease on the rise after decades of declines.  As Breitbart News has reported in the past, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, and other diseases that were on their way to eradication are also coming in across the borders of the United States.

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