Tuberculosis has been around for centuries. It’s been known by a number of names such as phthisis, white plague and consumption. When I was doing a lot of family research a few years ago, I found several ancestors and relatives that died of consumption. It was then that I discovered this was a name for tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis robbed my dad of his mom when he was only five years old. She was a school teacher and would read to him and his 4 year old brother when she was able. She died in her bed at home, and my dad, who is now 91 years old, still remembers her death to this day.
TB is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a bacteria. It can be spread by contact, coughing, sneezing, kissing and shaking hands. In most cases, it attacks the lungs, but can infect other areas of the body as well. TB has killed hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. A vaccine to prevent TB was first developed in France in 1906, but wasn’t used on people until 1921. It wasn’t until after World War II that the TB vaccine reached the US and Great Britain.
By 1987, TB was greatly reduced to only about 5,000 cases due to the success of the vaccines. However, in 2000, the number of TB cases started to increase and doctors discovered that it was due to a new strain that is resistant to the standard vaccine and antibiotics. Today, drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis have emerged, some of which have a fatality rate of close to 60%.
Health officials have discovered one reason for the increase in the number of cases of the deadly strain of TB here in the US. Illegal aliens are bringing the deadly disease into the US with them as they cross the border.
In Los Angeles, TB is spreading through the homeless community, which is composed largely of transients, including illegal aliens. Since most illegals shy away from medical care or anything that could get them detained and deported, the disease can be easily spread through the people that they come in contact with. The homeless communities lack many of the normal hygiene facilities which doesn’t help.
An illegal immigrant from Nepal, traveled through South Asia, to Brazil, to Mexico and finally to Texas, where he was detained by ICE officials. It wasn’t until he was in detention with other illegals that it was discovered that he was a TB carrier. Once doctors diagnosed him as having one of the deadliest strains of TB known today, the illegal was placed in isolation. The dozen border patrol agents that had contact with him were tested and so far there are no indications that they contacted the disease. There is also the question of the other detainees that the man was in contact with before being placed in isolation.
This one man may have infected hundreds of people. He took an 8 hour flight to Brazil which could have exposed everyone on the flight to the deadly TB virus. He also traveled by boat, car and on foot, through a total of 13 counties. Medical officials in Texas have notified the World Health Organization, which now has the daunting task of retracing the TB carrier’s travels and anyone he may have come in contact with. As long as President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano refuse to secure our international borders, various strains of TB, including the deadliest ones, will continue to enter our country and infect US citizens. Some are bound to die, but evidently, neither Obama nor Napolitano care enough about US citizens to take action.