Just shy of 200 people in Texas immigration detention centers have contracted the mumps since October of last year, the Texas Department of State Health Services told Newsweek.
At least 186 cases of the illness have been diagnosed since October, the majority of which were detainees though five workers at the facilities caught the virus as well.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Carl Rusnok told Newsweek that ICE had documented just 27 cases of the mumps at its Texas facilities as of February 14, adding that at this point "there are likely many fewer cases of mumps.”
He also said the 186 cases "seems to include other detention facilities than just ICE, such as U.S. Marshals and the Office of Refugees and Resettlement (ORR)."
The mumps virus spreads easily among those who are not vaccinated against it and causes “headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite and the characteristic swelling of salivary glands.”
Doctors working at the border have long warned that adequate health care is not being delivered to migrants and asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border with illnesses and injuries.
“They’re not treated as if their health and well-being is valued on any level,” Dr. Anna Landau, a doctor who specializes in family medicine and volunteers at a migrant shelter run by Catholic Community Services in Tucson, Arizona, told The New York Times earlier this week. ...
“How do you send people who are clearly hurting, clearly in pain and suffering, how do you just move them through as if they’re just another number, as opposed to an actual human being?” Landau asked.