BREITBART — Four refugees sent to Indiana by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement in 2015 were diagnosed with active tuberculosis once they arrived in the Hoosier State, according to the Indiana Department of Health.
Active tuberculosis (TB) is infectious, while so-called “latent TB” is not infectious. But 10 percent of those infected with latent TB develop active infectious TB.
In 2015, almost 400 migrants with latent TB settled in Indiana, according to state records. The state’s TB rate had declined for the 54 years up to 2010, but is now increasing as more migrants settle in the state.
“Tuberculosis is one of the most lethal infectious diseases in history,” Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and surgeons, told Breitbart News last week. “It is easily transmitted, say on a public bus [and] increasingly, it is becoming highly resistant to all our antibiotics,” she said.
The disease is airborne and is “caused by a group of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. General symptoms may include a prolonged, productive cough, blood-tinged sputum, night sweats, fever, fatigue, and weight loss,” the Indiana Department of Health reports.
It is unclear whether these four refugees had infectious active TB prior to their arrival. Under federal rules, would-be migrants are screened by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Alternatively, the migrants may have been accepted with latent TB that became active in the 30 to 90 days between their health screening in Indiana.
“The overseas medical screening for TB for immigrants and refugees focuses on active TB disease,” a spokesperson for the CDC tells Breitbart News.
The Indiana Department of Health says that “refugees found to have active tuberculosis (TB) on their overseas health screening are not permitted to enter the U.S. until they are treated and no longer infectious.” Once refugees arrive in Indiana, “all refugees are still screened for tuberculosis infection and disease during their domestic health screening,” the Indiana department said.