Secure the Border NOW!

If ever there was a time to secure the border, THIS would be that time.

While the Obama Administration is scrambling to come up with a response, Governor Brewer has the obligation to protect the citizens of Arizona from what is quickly becoming a pandemic situation with the Mexican-borne swine flu.

We would call on the governor to increase border security, and make preparations for travel restrictions into the State of Arizona.

 According to the latest statement issued by the World Health Organization, “It is “quite possible” that the swine flu virus that has killed dozens in Mexico will mutate into a “more dangerous” strain, a senior World Health Organization official said Sunday.”

The Center for Disease Control website has also dedicated information regarding the epidemic. Within the last 48 hours, the flu has spread from eight people to 20 and being identified in two states to now five.

To date, there has been no statements issued by Governor Brewer.  However, the Arizona Department of Health Services has issed the following press release but even their information is not up to date.

ADHS News Release:

Release: No Swine Flu in Arizona
Release Date: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 24, 2009

Contact: Contact: Laura Oxley, ADHS Public Information: (602) 542-1094
Contact: Janey Pearl, ADHS Public Information: (602) 364-1201

A swine flu that has never been seen in humans before has been diagnosed in the U.S. and Mexico. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented 8 cases in California and Texas; the same virus has also been detected in central Mexico. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has not seen the virus, but is monitoring the situation. The state laboratory is prepared for testing influenza samples from across the state.

“Influenza is a constantly evolving virus. We’ve been watching for something like this for years,” said Dr. Karen Lewis, Medical Director for the state’s Immunization Program. “The important part of the equation is identifying a new virus. Then we can diagnose and treat those who have it.” ADHS is in contact with doctors, medical facilities and our local health partners to make sure they are aware of the symptoms, as well as when to do additional testing.

The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of regular influenza: high fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches – some cases have nausea and diarrhea. Treatment of the swine flu is the same as influenza: stay in bed, rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you are concerned about your symptoms, contact your primary care doctor.

Every person can protect themselves from swine flu and other illnesses by practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly and try to limit contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home.

ADHS will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed on our website at www.azdhs.gov/phs/oids/epi/flu and at 800-314-9243. Or you can visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/index.htm.


Comments

  1. I guess this is a good idea – we need a fence around the whole state to keep people from California, Kansas, New York City, Ohio, Texas, as they have all have identified cases, from entering the state.

  2. Ron, according to the Associated Press – hardly a conservative mouthpiece – the epicenter of this epidemic is Mexico.

    People who enter the country through legal ports of entry are regularly screened for health concerns. People who don’t, aren’t.

    It seems reasonable to me for a country to secure its borders from unauthorized – and consequently unscreened and untracked – entry, as a disease control measure, among other reasons. That is one reason countries control their borders, one going back to the times of the plagues that spread throughout Europe in Medieval days.

  3. Actually methinks,

    The sources of infection in the US have been returning high school students from a Catholic prep in Queens (at least in New York).

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/04272009/news/regionalnews/girls_fever_nightmare_166425.htm

    “People who enter the country through legal ports of entry are regularly screened for health concerns.”

    Except these Spring Breakers were incubating the virus while they were passing through customs, so guess what? No outward signs of the illness, and no passport concerns, so our Patients One & Two had no reason to be stopped.

    And that’s why the virus might be epicentered in Mexico, but being seen in Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and New York and Kansas and NOT in say Arizona – because it’s being spread by returning tourists, not illegal immigrants.

  4. Klute, I think you missed my point, which was, why leave open other possible avenues for the disease to spread.

    Do you believe that disease control is one (although not the only) valid purpose for border control? And, if so, do you agree that circumventing the border checkpoints via illegal immigration increases the chance for an epidemic? If so, would you agree that this is an argument in favor of increased border security?

  5. Methinks writes, “People who enter the country through legal ports of entry are regularly screened for health concerns. People who don’t, aren’t.”

    I have had more questions asked about my international travel by the United Blood Bank when I give blood than I have ever had when I enter the US from a foreign country. Oh, they do ask me when I come from Canada, “Did you visit a farm?”

    Wonder why – probably because the screen tells them I grew up on a farm in Canada.

  6. Methinks,

    “Klute, I think you missed my point, which was, why leave open other possible avenues for the disease to spread.”

    Closing the border won’t/wouldn’t have stopped the spread of the virus. Based upon the patterns of outbreak, the virus was picked up in Mexico and seems contained in the South/Central part (at least I haven’t heard of any border outbreaks). It spread due to travel from outisde – legal travel, etc.

    Would “tightening border security” make epidemiological sense? I suppose in a fashion, it could – if you strenghten the ports of call. As for illegal crossing – someone who is sick is less likely to attempt, or be able to make it across if they’re sick.

    “Do you believe that disease control is one (although not the only) valid purpose for border control?”

    Sure.

    “And, if so, do you agree that circumventing the border checkpoints via illegal immigration increases the chance for an epidemic?”

    I would be more worried about someone crossing into the US legally and carrying a virus then through illegal means, which are more stressful, and more likely to make a person crash out from the disease before they get a chance to spread it. A latent carrier is more dangerous than someone in the throes of infection.

    “If so, would you agree that this is an argument in favor of increased border security?”

    Sure. It makes epidemiological sense. But this panicked “AGH! SWINE FLUUUUUUUU!!!” response to border control is reactionary, and not part of controlling the vectors of this particular outbreak.

  7. If you really want to check out our national resolve to solve a health risk you should go back to the avian flu ‘epidemic’ a few years ago. My brother’s farm is less than one mile from the US/Canadian border. He had to slaughter his over 100k chickens. There was no slaughter of chickens in Washington State during that time. There was avian flu in this country – after all birds don’t stop flying north or south because of something called the 51st parallel. There were chicken operations within one quarter of a mile south of the border (directly south of my brother’s farm). I don’t believe we will ever get a straight story on this flu either.

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