Op/Ed: The Children, the Caravan, and Health

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Recent border clashes produced shocking images that triggered condemnation from many who failed to realized there are three aspects to the caravan: what is shown by the media; what is there to be seen; and what is unseen.

The focus is on the innocent children, as in the widely circulated photograph of an obese woman with two children lacking pants or shoes, purportedly fleeing tear gas sprayed by cruel law enforcement agents. They are far from home, in a very dangerous place, in violation of the laws of Mexico.

Would Child Protective Services accuse an American citizen of child abuse and neglect, and take the children into foster care?


Beltway Insider: President George H.W. Bush Dies, Trump/G20 Cold War, Brexit, Putin's Long Game; US/MX/CA Trade; Olivia Hooker


Thousands of migrants are crammed together in Tijuana, many outdoors, and about a third of them are already sick. Without sanitation, outdoors in the rain, many more will become ill. Several cases of tuberculosis, chicken pox, and HIV have already been reported.

The unseen travelers also include measles, Chagas disease, hepatitis, and many other dangerous microbes. You can see the lice that serve as vectors of diseases such as typhus if you look closely. Workers in migrant reception centers have spent hours combing nits out of little girls’ hair—but they could be fired for talking about it.

Then there’s that mysterious polio-like illness—AFM for acute flaccid myelitis—that has struck hundreds of American children. Some would be in “iron lungs” if we didn’t use a different kind of breathing machine today. AFM was first noted in 2014, just coincidentally in time and space with the dispersal of thousands of Central American children into U.S. schools.


Op/Ed: The Real Loser in the Midterms: Individuality


More prominent at that time was an outbreak of a deadly respiratory illness that sent hundreds of American children to intensive care units. Both types of symptoms can probably be caused by enterovirus D68, which happens to be endemic in Central America. Any connection? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says it doesn’t know.

Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis) afflicts around 8 million people in Central America. An early symptom is to awaken with swelling of the eyelids on one side that persists for weeks. But most don’t know they have Chagas until, after many years, it destroys the muscles of their esophagus, colon, or heart. It is carried by the reduviid (“kissing”) bug, already present in the U.S. Packrats are hosts to these bugs. A high rate of Chagas is being found in dogs in Texas.

Many migrants have latent tuberculosis, which can become active at any time. What happens if a case of active tuberculosis is diagnosed in the U.S.? All the patient’s contacts must be identified, tested, and followed. The persons exposed while the patient was coughing on the bus will be impossible to locate. The patient requires treatment for at least a year, with careful follow-up.

How many patients with contagious diseases and their contacts can be effectively followed by U.S. public health departments? Not very many—these agencies are already underfunded and stretched thin. How many patients with active TB can be safely treated in U.S. hospitals? Last time I checked there were only two or three negative-pressure isolation rooms in my city. And what if the disease is resistant to all antibiotics, as is occurring in many countries? In the old days, patients’ lungs were collapsed by injecting air into the chest to cause a pneumothorax.


Beltway Insider: Trump/Saudi’s/Khashoggi; UK/EU Finalize Brexit; Tear Gas Greets Immigrants; Stan Lee Memorial


A patient I cared for at Parkland Hospital in Dallas had a caved-in chest from the removal of several ribs (a thoracoplasty) to keep his lung collapsed permanently. This won’t help disseminated TB, such as meningitis.

The public health response to contagious diseases, especially deadly untreatable ones, is to make the diagnosis, isolate the patients, and trace the contacts. This means that for migrants we need a positive identification of the person, his country of origin, and his location. But while American citizens are increasingly under surveillance, illegals often disappear without a trace.

Public health can’t deal with a horde violently storming the border. What the mainstream press doesn’t show is that 80 percent of the crowd are men, mostly of military age. The threats they pose to the health of our citizens (and that of other migrants) include violence; sexually transmitted diseases from rape (a large percentage of the women have been molested); and illicit drugs that pour through while Border Patrol agents may be changing diapers.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) 5,000 case workers won’t help, and I doubt that many would volunteer to serve. We need linguists to identify people who are lying on their asylum applications—observers from Judicial Watch identified Cuban accents. We need better laboratory facilities and public health surveillance throughout the country.


Beltway Insider: Trump/CA Wildfires, Pence/Asia, G20; Immigration Caravan; Argentina Sub; CIA/Khashoggi; CNN; Thanksgiving


And we need law enforcement to stop illegal entry. Children who were at least warm and dry in Honduras are being used as political pawns and human shields by those determined to trespass in or harm our homeland.

We need to protect children—especially our own.

We need a wall.

 

Bio: Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Since 1988, she has been chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Pima County (Arizona) Medical Society.

She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fourth editions of Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. She authored books for schoolchildren, Professor Klugimkopf’s Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf’s Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine. More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and nonhazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Haute Tease

  • Money News Asia: SESAMi Gives Singapore Businesses a Trade Finance Boost

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    SESAMi, South‐East Asia’s largest e‐procurement platform, touches the lives of over 15,000 small businesses and 5,000 large buyers around the globe each year. The firm processed SGD 1.8 billion worth of e‐invoices in the last 12 months, a figure that has grown steadily 14% year‐on‐year since its inception in September 1999.

     
  • Boundaries Review - Strong Character Driven Performances Create Indie Gold

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Boundaries from Sony Picture Classics, brings to the screen a story of redemption, of healing, of forgiveness and closure as a daughter and her pot-smoking, dealing father, her son and his collection of unique and slightly odd friends.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Dedicates 9/11 Museum; U.S. Goes Soft on Foreign Policy; Russian Sanctions Hit

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama paid tribute, this week, to the fallen heroes, known and unknown, from the September 11, 2001 Terror Attack, as he dedicated the 9/11 Museum located on the former World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

     
  • Burgess at The Monaco Yacht Show 2015

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With the largest yacht in the show and a full line-up of superyachts above 55 metres, Burgess reinforces its position as the large yacht specialists at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show held from Wednesday, 23 September through Saturday, 26 September 2015.  

  • The Sparkling Water Maker from Soda Stream Review – Healthy, Eco-Friendly, One Touch Use

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the health risks associated with soda continue to increase, Soda Stream the sparkling water maker has entered the market with a home appliance that allows consumers to create their own carbonated beverages right from the tap.

     
  • September 11, 2001 - We Remember

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Today marks the 14th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The reading of the names of the lives lost in the attacks happened this morning at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

     
  • The Aftermath Review – Electrifying Post World War II Drama Delivers Captivating Performances

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Aftermath, from FOX Searchlight and Scott Free Productions, presents the story of new beginnings, deep hatred, hope, healing, anguish, and unending heartache against the backdrop of a barren, bombed out, wasteland when a seedling of renewal appears.

     
  • Four Day Old Baby, Two Toddlers Found Alive Among Ohio Execution Slaughter

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Eight members of a rural Ohio family were found dead, early Friday morning, shot execution style as they lie sleeping, in multiple locations across a small area of Pike County. None of the victims appear to be the shooter.

     
  • Decades in the Making, a Rotating Show, Highlights The New Hackett Mill Gallery

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hackett Mill presents Decades in the Making, a group show of seminal artists from the twentieth century. This special exhibition marks the opening of the gallery’s new location adjacent to SFMOMA in San Francisco’s thriving downtown district.

     
  • Teen Spirit Review - Charming Cinderella Story Inspires

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Teen Spirit, from Bleecker Street Films and Interscope, brings to the screen the Cinderella story of every singing contestant hopeful who believe that one audition will lead to that golden ticket and a chance at destiny.

     
  • Trudeau Lumina Copper Fondue Set Review - Retro Favorite Modernized For Elegance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Dust off those Fondue Pots, the 1970’s party must have is seeing a resurgence thanks to prop placement in film and television, a retro favorite Fondue Parties have been modernized for elegance with sleek, stylish sets.

     
  • PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser Review – Dream Skin Is A Month Away

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    PaloVia® Skin Renewing Laser® the only FDA-cleared, at-home laser clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, once only available to the few is now available to the masses.

     
  • Whitney Houston Found Dead at Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Whitney Houston, the multi-Grammy Award winning superstar, has been found dead in her room at the exclusive Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California.

     
  • Private Telluride Mountain Estate Expected To Sell for $18 Million At Auction

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A private mountain estate centrally located in the heart of world-renowned ski town Telluride will sell to the highest bidder next month as part of Concierge Auctions' "Winter Portfolio" auction sale in New York City.

     
  • Miss You Already Review - A Double Pack Tearjerker as Besties Face Life with Flair

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Miss You Already, from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, presents a story of friendship, of long-lasting, never-ending, enduring everything bond that survives through the struggles, the loves, hurt, injury and survives even through the nausea of modern life.