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.
Given this, and recent outbreaks of mumps in Central America, “the preponderance of evidence points to the major influx at our Southwest border being, at minimum, a significant contributing factor of these occurrences,” she said.
“The impact is significant in the short and long term,” she said, including longer detentions and delayed removals.
The number in quarantine represent about a tenth of the approximately 52,000 ICE detainees overall.
The agency was giving exposed asymptomatic detainees measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines and quarantining them for 25 days from the last incubation period, it said.
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.
The US has been experiencing its own sporadic mumps outbreaks in the past several years, which scientists believe might be linked to the vaccine’s waning immunity over time and the need for a booster shot at the age of 18.
Cases fell dramatically after the two-MMR dose program was introduced in 1989, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with only a few hundred reported annually for several years thereafter.
But they have been on the rise again since 2006, with more than 6,000 cases in 2006, 2016 and 2017.
There have been 1,002 cases reported this year from January 1 to May 24.
Iran Foreign Minister Zarif perfectly Twitter-trolls Trump with photos of meeting with smiling Macron at G7
Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif used Donald Trump's favorite social media platform to get in a dig at the president and rub his nose in the fact that French President Emmanuel took time out from the busy G7 meeting he is hosting to sit down with him.
The White House was reportedly blindsided by Macron's invitation that had been kept a secret from Trump and now, if Trump wanted proof of the meeting, he need only hop on Twitter to see the evidence.
As Zarif wrote, "Iran's active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues. Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDria & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying."
Hong Kong police fire first gunshot in protest clashes
Hong Kong police used water cannon for the first time and at least one officer fired his sidearm during pitched battles with protesters Sunday, one of the most violent nights in three months of pro-democracy rallies that have rocked the city.
An afternoon rally in the district of Tsuen Wan spiralled into violent running confrontations between protesters and police, with officers several times caught outnumbered and isolated by masked youths wielding sticks and throwing rocks.
In one instance, several police officers drew their sidearms, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
"According to my understanding, just now a gunshot was fired by a colleague," Superintendent Leung Kwok Win told the press.
A Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy admits he lied about being shot by a sniper
A Los Angeles sheriff's deputy who claimed to have been attacked by a sniper last week has confessed to lying about the supposed incident.
"Reinosa admitted he was not shot at as he previously claimed," L.A. County Homicide Capt. Kent Wegener said regarding Angel Reinosa, the California sheriff's deputy who was still a trainee when he claimed on Wednesday that he had been attacked by an unknown sniper, according to ABC News. "He also told investigators he had caused the holes in his uniform by cutting it. There was no sniper, no shots fired and no gunshot injury sustained to his shoulder."