I spend a great amount of my time reading articles
from the National Library of Medicine, or recently published books, in my work
as a health journalist. On occasion I run across some information that appears
to be similar to something else I have read recently. This happened when I was
researching the topic of whooping cough, which is on the rise in the U.S. The
pertussis vaccine for this disease is now being widely promoted by health authorities
since immunity may have worn off from inoculation years ago. I was searching
for a map to show where pertussis outbreaks are concentrated. Here is the map
Pertussis (whooping cough), U.S. 2001
Days earlier, I had happened to see a map that
looked similar, displaying the geographical hot spots for tuberculosis.
Here is that map.
Both maps display concentrations of disease in
southern border states, other east coast ports of entry, and selected other
areas. There isnt an environmental factor, such as stronger solar ultraviolet
radiation, or water, or lifestyle that can explain these geographical similarities.
Another map, involving geographical concentrations of Hepatitis A cases, also
looks surprisingly similar. Here is that map for your viewing.
Reported cases, Hepatitis A, year 2000, CDC
Since these maps had such similar findings, I
was curious and dug up another map, displaying the concentrations of undocumented
immigrants to the USA. Here is that map.
Mulling over these maps, I wondered, is there
a crime map of the U.S.? Here is the map I found.
Disease and crime are concentrated in areas where
undocumented immigrants are more commonly found. An estimated 7 million undocumented
immigrants now reside in the U.S. While the nation wastes its money and energy
planning to thwart or combat imagined terrorism via the Department of Homeland
Security, carriers of biological and other threats walk over the southern border
into the U.S. on a daily basis. Over 1 million Mexicans will attempt entry this
year. Its an invasion.
Recently an outbreak of hepatitis traced to a
Mexican restaurant in Pennsylvania was inexplicably traced to contaminated green
onions, not the most obvious cause, undocumented food workers who harbored hepatitis.
For the most part, hepatitis is a blood-borne, not a food-borne disease. The
hepatitis outbreak infected over 650 individuals, caused 9000 Americans to undergo
immune globulin shots, and killed 4 people. If Americans found out restaurants
can commonly infect their customers from food workers, it would be a blow to
the restaurant industry. Better blame the green onions. Lets concede the
onions, grown in Mexico, were contaminated from fecal material. Did all the
green onions imported from Mexico end up in one single restaurant? There were
no other outbreaks of hepatitis elsewhere from green onions. There were 13 restaurant
workers who had hepatitis. They were the likely source of the transmitted infection.
While the unions resist mandatory hepatitis vaccination
for food workers, the government mandates that newborn babies be jabbed with
hepatitis vaccines before they can leave the hospital. The logic in this defies
understanding until one realizes that newborn babies of immigrant families can
more easily acquire hepatitis. So all the rest of American babies are given
The problem is with immigrant families who are
not properly screened for disease as they enter the U.S. A recent study conducted
by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that young infants from Hispanic
families are at the greatest risk for whooping cough, presumably because the
disease is transmitted from their unvaccinated family members who may have immigrated
to the US from Mexico where vaccination rates are low. [Pediatric Infectious
Diseases Journal 22: 62834, 2003]
One can understand why Mexican people come to
the U.S. In Mexico they are only paid $5.00 per day for their labor. When wages
for Mexican workers rise, the peso is conveniently devalued to keep Mexico competitive
with foreign countries like China and Thailand. The owners of Mexican businesses
often keep their money in dollars in American banks and escape the devaluation
of their currency. So the common people are forever doomed to poverty. America
is their only hope. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle states that Mexicans
living in the U.S. send between $6 and $8 billion back to their families every
year, making them the third-biggest legitimate force in the Mexican economy
after oil and tourism. In essence, its an unofficial form of foreign aid.
Mexico isnt about to control its borders, since Mexicans fleeing their
country for work in the U.S. send plenty of money back to their own country.
The U.S. wont lower crime or disease rates
by putting more cops on the street or doctors in practice. How all this gets
resolved is beyond me. But I think Americans should carefully examine the situation
and confront politicians who up till now havent had the resolve to remedy
October 7, 2004
Bill Sardi [send
him mail] is a consumer advocate and health journalist
writing from San Dimas, California. His website is www.askbillsardi.com.