Flu fears fuel immigration wars

10 children at hospitals with unknown ailments

NEW YORK (CNN) – Americans living along the U.S.-Mexico border are concerned about the influx of illegal immigrants entering the country who might have health problems.

The government has so far identified a handful of undocumented immigrants with illnesses.

Protesters in southern California Tuesday surround, stop, and block three buses of undocumented immigrant families.

The undocumented immigrants were being moved for processing from Texas to California to help alleviate the strain on Texas from the massive flood of immigrants.

Since October, 39-thousand adults with children have tried to cross the border and fifty-two thousand children on their own.

With this surge, the political temperature rises. Swirling through the political cyclone, fears of a rising health crisis.

The Department of Health and Human Services confirms to CNN that one immigrant child came to the U.S. last week with H1N1 flu virus and is now being treated at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio.

Medical experts say this one case isn’t cause for alarm.

The H1N1 virus is already common in the United States. This past flu season, it was actually the most prevalent strain.

Some though are back to calling it the “swine flu”, harkening back to the fear of 2009 when H1N1 first broke out in America.

“I think you need to balance the responsibility of public health, scientific-rooted analysis, debate and decisions against those old divisive drumbeats of fear-mongering that have accompanied waves of immigrants throughout our history,” said John Avlon, Editor-in-Chief for The Daily Beast.

On the front lines the scare tactics have already trickled down.

“The bottom line is, you got the diseases,” said one protester.

“We just don’t want your unhealthy people coming here and making our kids, and my wife, and my mother and father sick,” said another protester.

There are some health concerns. From those three buses stopped Tuesday in California, the National Border Patrol Council confirms of the 136 immigrants screened: 10 children are now at local hospitals for unknown ailments.

Seven additional kids are quarantined with active scabies. The white house said today the public health risk is just one challenge they’re devoting resources to.

“There is a plan for dealing with those kinds of contingencies,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

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