Health Desk-16 June, 2019: US authorities said Friday they had placed 5,200 detained migrants into quarantine, mainly over exposure to mumps, linking a surge in cases to a recent outbreak of the contagious disease in Central America.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official told AFP that as of June 13 almost 4,300 detainees were being confined across 39 facilities for exposure to mumps, more than 800 for exposure to chicken pox, and about a hundred for both.
The first confirmed case of mumps among ICE detainees was reported on September 7, 2018 and since then the figure has grown to 334, the official added.
Nathalie Asher, ICE’s executive associate director of enforcement and removal operations, said that 75 percent of the current detention population came directly from the border, while the others were detained within the US.
Mumps is a contagious disease with symptoms such as puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw as well as fever, muscle aches and loss of appetite.
Most people make a full recovery within two weeks but in rare cases there can be severe complications.
There have been 1,002 cases reported this year from January 1 to May 24.