Medical Correspondent: Illegal Immigrants Causing Public Health Crisis

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 02:11 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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A public health crisis is emerging because of the illegal immigrant children that have been coming in droves to the United States along the southern border, Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel said.

Many of the estimated 66,000 children who have entered the country illegally this year could be bringing with them diseases including scabies, tuberculosis, Dengue fever, measles, chickenpox, and leprosy, Siegel said.

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"I think that this is a big public health crisis that's emerging," Siegel, a medical doctor and associate professor of medicine at New York University, told "Fox & Friends" on Monday.

"If they come in illegally, we're faced with a situation where they're living close together, there is a lot less very good public health measures in place."

Before a legal immigrant entered the country, Siegel said they were screened "for all kinds of diseases." He said that was not the case with illegal immigrants.

The problem had already led to an epidemic of scabies, which he described as "a skin condition with intense itching and rash due to a mite" that was "highly contagious." He estimated 10 to 25 percent of illegal immigrants were infected with scabies.

Tuberculosis, once thought eradicated in North America, was also "re-emerging," Siegel said. He said it was a "multiple drug resistant tuberculosis" that was becoming harder to treat.

"We really have to have a look out and need to get ahead of this. And, we need more public health," he said.

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