Don’t forget refugee health concerns, perhaps more deadly than terrorism

We have an entire category here at RRW on refugee and immigrant health (286 previous posts!) and I’ve maintained for years that health problems coming into the US with refugees and the cost of treating the myriad diseases and chronic conditions could ultimately be more significant to your community than a terrorist attack might be.

TB photo
Those refugees with latent TB are admitted to the US and some who are being treated for active TB may also gain entry. Photo:

That said, here is an informative article (hat tip: Joanne) from The Journal of Family Practice a few years ago which goes over the issues facing the medical community as we ‘welcome’ over 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers to America each year.

Pay special attention to the sections on Tuberculosis and HIV (there is no longer a bar to admission for HIV/AIDS and refugees are no longer even tested for it in advance of admission).  Other big medical issues include intestinal parasites and hepatitis.  And, of course mental health.

In 2012 we posted a film describing how refugees with active TB were being prepared for entry into the US, here.

Here is how the Journal of Family Practice article opens:

Refugees arrive in the United States with complex medical issues, including illnesses rarely seen here, mental health concerns, and chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

I encourage all of you working in ‘pockets of resistance’ to be sure to do your homework on health issues, including mental health issues.  According to Anastasia Brown of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 75% of Iraqis entering the US have mental illness. See Journal of Migration and Human Security report, here.

The Centers for Disease Control also has important information on its website, here.

And, in the past we have noted that both Texas and Minnesota health departments have lots of good information about refugee health on their websites, and I expect some other states do as well.  If your state health department does not report on refugee medical problems that is something you should be advocating for where you live.

Again, see our ‘Health issues’ category by clicking here.

4 thoughts on “Don’t forget refugee health concerns, perhaps more deadly than terrorism

  1. I have a good idea, NO MUSLIMS AT ALL! Who said this, to whom, when, why and what have we ever done about it? Would you consider this statement to be contrary to our Constitution, our way of life, a danger to our National/Homeland Security and the preservation of our nation and our Constitution? Would you think these are words of an enemy? Surely, both the House and Senate studied this but where are the reports?
    “The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every musselman [muslim] who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

    This statement was a part of a March 28, 1786, letter from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, the United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Continental Congress, concerning their conversation with Tripoli’s to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman as to why his pirates/terrorists hijacked our merchant ships, stole the ships and cargo while holding the sailors for ransom. (Source: Founders Online:

    Why are we failing to mention the obvious issues in the 1786 letter that still exists today? Here are the main points in 1786; are they the same today with the Muslim Brotherhood in America and their plan they wrote to destroy us?
    a. “it was founded on the Laws of their prophet”;
    b. “that it was written in their Koran”;
    c. “that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners”;
    d. “that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and”;
    e. “to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and”;
    f. “that every musselman [muslim] who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
    g. “that it was a law that the first who boarded an Enemy’s Vessell should have one slave more than his share with the rest”;
    h. “which operated as an incentive to the most desperate Valour and Enterprize;
    i. “that it was the Practice of their Corsairs to bear down upon a ship;
    j. for each sailor to take a dagger in each hand, and another in his mouth, and leap on board, which so terrified their Enemies that very few ever stood against them.”
    k. “That he verily believed the Devil assisted his Countrymen, for they were almost always successful.

    The bottom line is this, Islamists that believe in Shariah/Islamic law want to form a GLOBAL Caliphate just like the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS/ISIL/Islamic state and we are funding our own destruction with our tax dollars and using our military to fight and die installing it. Look at all the wars we have had for decades now and see who we are fighting!

    Please take time to view the 12 Faces of Islam and then ask your useless politician to look at it.


  2. The comments by Murlimews are exactly what occurred to me as I read this latest news. The most information I found on EV D-68, as it ravaged our nation’s children, came WebMD. At least 5 children died, 700 or so sickened and 111 left paralyzed to varying degrees from the virus. It occurred during 2014 when the first waves of illegals came from flooding across our southern border. One particularly sad case is that of a boy who 80% paralyzed, unable even to eat. He was being tube fed in a hospital.

    One of the articles I found mentioned how much difficult the situation was made by the Obama Administration keeping secret the location of where these illegals were.

    To rephrase Churchill’s well known saying, “Never have so many been troubled by just one man.”

    A doctor interviewed by CNN tried to minimize the deaths that more children are killed by the flu. That’s all very well and fine Dr. Blackheart unless it’s your child.


  3. If the Western governments were truly interested in preventing widespread disease, they would set up public health clinics at all entry points into their countries, whose sole purpose is screening migrants and refugees of communicable diseases. Anyone manifesting symptoms can’t enter the country. Mass public health protocols began here circa 1890s, but we and Europe are now ignoring this vital history.

    Summer, 2014, a massive number of unaccompanied minors entered the U.S. What followed was an unpresedented outbreak of Enterovirus D68, a rare illness in the U.S., but common in Central America. An epidemic of children went to hospital with severe flu-like symptoms, some even died or became paralyzed. Our one-year old grandson (at the time) contracted this disease, and was in a room with intense hand-washing procedures and face masks at a hospital in Virginia for four days.

    Ellis Island wasn’t just a disembarkation point, it was were the American public health service faced the greatest challenges of the modern era when huge waves of immigrants came to New York. The U.S. practically invented the mass application of simple public health protections. “An 1889 Act of Congress established the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, formalizing their service under the Marine Hospital Service along military lines…doctors wore uniforms and carried out quarantine duties including inspection of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. Public Health and Marine Hospital Service officers played a major role in fulfilling the commitment to prevent disease from entering the country,” from

    This public health army was dispatched en masse to the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina but appear all but invisible now along the Rio Grande, when we face an equally daunting challenge. Refugees should arrive at only one point into the USA, where they will be examined by doctors. Even those refugees from UN camps.

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