Stories floating on right wing magazines claiming migrants coming into United States are carriers of diseases and news agencies hosts claiming that refugees are a threat to American children could be overzealous in their enthusiasm as experts say that the health of these migrants are more at risk than of American people. Trump administration too has been claiming that groups of migrants making their way to American through Mexico are a national threat while Fox News commentator David Ward who was a former immigration agent has claimed that these migrants carry communicable diseases like smallpox, leprosy and tuberculosis and are a health threat to Americans.
But experts says that these claims are exaggerated as World Health Assembly declared that smallpox has been eradicated from the world in 1980 which was the biggest achievement for international health as per data shared by US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Leprosy is very rare since WHO data declared that very few cases have been reported in both North and South America and 94 percent of these cases were centered in Brazil during 2003-2013. These migrants approaching the United States are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that have a very small number of disease cases.
Tuberculosis is one communicable disease that WHO is finding very tough to eradicate around the world as new drug-resistant strains are making it hard to battle with existing drugs. There were 9105 cases of tuberculosis in United States during 2017. Non-profit organizations working with these migrants are asking for sympathy for them as some of them are in delicate health condition due to their difficult circumstances and they do not pose any threat to others. These migrants have walked for several hundred miles in the hope of a better life for themselves and their children by wearing only slippers and rubber clogs that are literally falling apart with little food and water. Mexican Red Cross along with Federal and state department officials are working with the refugee caravan.