Breathe a sigh of relief: CDC says screening is catching refugee TB cases before they get here

And, as a result of the beefed-up screening local health departments have been spared $15 million in costs to treat refugees so far, says the CDC!

Wyoming are you listening!  Medical treatment for refugees is partly your local health department’s responsibility.  The Wyoming governor thinks a refugee program for Wyoming would be a freebie!

World Health Organization: TB drugs cause side affects that makes compliance difficult.

From the Centers for Disease Control via NPR (most cases of TB in US can be traced back to refugees and immigrants):

Hundreds of people with tuberculosis wishing to come to the U.S. have been stopped before they reached U.S. borders, says a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Are the 20,000 plus asylum seekers tested on the border too?—ed]

Physicians overseas picked up more than 1,100 cases in prospective immigrants and refugees prior to their arrival in the U.S. The cases include 14 people with multidrug-resistant TB, the CDC says.

The agency credits beefed up recommendations for pre-travel screening that require newer, more sensitive sputum-culture tests. Of the 1,100 cases detected, about 660 would not have been identified under old guidelines.

Keeping people with TB out while they get treatment has saved the U.S. about $15 million in costs that would’ve been incurred for treatment here — costs the CDC says would’ve been mostly borne by U.S. public health departments.


“In addition to creating major savings in health care costs, the program ensures that immigrants and refugees get prompt care and correct treatment,” said Martin Cetron, director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, in a statement.

The U.S. has a very low rate of tuberculosis, even as the disease continues to rage in many countries around the world. Most cases that are identified here can be traced back to an immigrant or refugee.

The CDC says 65 percent of people with TB in the U.S were born in other countries. [Did the other 35% catch TB from an immigrant or refugee—ed]

Take a few minutes and watch this shocking film about how refugees with drug-resistant TB are being readied to come to America!

See our ‘health issues’ category with many more posts on health problems that come with refugee resettlement.

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