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Chickenpox outbreak strikes at Mexican migrant shelter

A group of Central American migrants is under quarantine in a Juarez shelter after a chickenpox outbreak. The shelter itself has now opened its doors.

Nearly 800 migrants are housed in the Leona Vicario shelter, where the Mexican federal government cares for Central American asylum seekers sent back by the US to wait in Mexico. According to Chihuahua state health officials 72 migrants come down with chicken pox, 69 of them were children.

Varicela is not always dangerous, but it is very contagious. Once it was discovered in a Juarez shelter, immigration and health officials started working to make sure it doesn’t spread.

Federal representative Juan Carlos Loera told Canal 44 Thursday 20 people had already been cleared after getting better.

Conditions have improved, now fewer than 50 migrants have chickenpox. The shelter made sure to separate those who were sick from the rest of the population, putting them in quarantine, but that still had some people at risk.

“Families couldn’t be separated,” Representative Loera said. If the child was sick their healthy parents had to be included with the quarantine.

This is the first chicken pox outbreak seen in Juarez, the Red Cross reported just one migrant case about a month ago. It's not taking it lightly.

Loera said the migrants were being treated professionally. They’re now administering vaccines especially to vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses.

We have asked the people in charge of the shelter how the virus entered but they have not responded at this time.

Border / News

Julio-Cesar Chavez

Julio-Cesar Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter.

Comments

23 Comments

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