Posted on October 11, 2004

What Health and Crime Maps Reveal

Bill Sardi,, Oct. 7

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

I found.

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 isn’t 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. It’s 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. Let’s 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 vaccines.

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: 628—34, 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, it’s an unofficial form of foreign aid.

Mexico isn’t 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. won’t 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 haven’t had the resolve to remedy

the problem.

October 7, 2004

Bill Sardi [send

him mail] is a consumer advocate and health journalist

writing from San Dimas, California. His website is

Comments are closed.