- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Stung by the death of a teenage boy, Homeland Security officials went back and re-tested an entire detention facility and found 32 people suffering from the flu, officials said Wednesday.

The central processing facility in the Rio Grande Valley is being cleaned and the migrants are being segregated and treated, a Customs and Border Protection official told reporters.

Authorities are investigating whether the 16-year-old boy who died earlier this week after being diagnosed with the flu came into contact with those now diagnosed.

The processing facility was temporarily closed for cleaning.

The official briefing reporters said the 32 cases were out of a total population of about 2,500.



He said that number was “pretty representative” of the illness rates they’re seeing overall.

“We’re making 69 trips a day to the hospital. I hate to refer to it as standard practice but it has more or less become standard practice,” he said.

Disease has been a major fear given the surge of illegal immigrants from Central America jumping the border.

After two children died in Border Patrol custody after jumping the border in December, Homeland Security mandated more thorough medical checks for all migrants.

The official briefing reporters Wednesday said they check vitals and ask questions — though he said screening for flu specifically isn’t typical.

The Guatemalan boy, 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez Vasquez, died Monday, hours after being diagnosed with the flu.

He arrived at the U.S. as an unaccompanied alien child (UAC) and had been held in Border Patrol custody for nearly a year.

Under the law UACs are supposed to be held for no more than 72 hours, but the massive surge of migrants has overwhelmed CBP’s ability to process all the people being caught, delaying their release.

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