Claim: An ongoing outbreak of Enterovirus D68 originated with an influx of immigrant children from Central America.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, October 2014]
The CDC does not mention this disease as a 'border flu'... and if it were a border problem, I would expect more border states to have higher illness rates, like California and Texas!
What are your thoughts?
I have read recently about cases of
Origins: An outbreak of Enterovirus D68
The sudden appearance of Enterovirus D68 prompted much speculation as to the means with which the aggressive strain had entered the public health sphere. After cases were first confirmed in Chicago and Kansas City, Missouri, the virus moved east and popped up in
As the number of EV-D68 cases rose, rumors began to circulate suggesting that the outbreak was connected to a particular event: an influx of minor children crossing the United States border unaccompanied by parents or guardians that peaked in 2014. The proximity of the wave of minor immigrants and the resurgence of Enterovirus led many to conclude the children brought the strain from their home countries and caused the outbreak.
Some pundits placed blame for the outbreak of EV-D68 and a recent case of Ebola in Dallas at the feet of President Obama. Phyllis Schlafly said:
Out of all the things he's done, I think this thing of letting these diseased people into this country to infect our own people is just the most outrageous of all.
That was the purpose of Ellis Island — to have a waiting place where it was decided whether people were healthy enough or responsible enough to come into our country. The idea that anybody can just walk in and carry this disease with them is just an outrage, and it is Obama's fault because he's responsible for doing it.
Obama doesn't want America to believe that we're exceptional. He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That's his attitude.
The rumor was addressed by MLive after the claim spread heavily in Michigan. Experts explained that Enterovirus strains have been in the United States for more than
"I think that this really sort of argues against the fact that this is a new virus introduced by anybody," Wells said.
Dr. Matthew Davis, the state's Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health, said that "While it's theoretically possible that someone from any part of the world can bring an infection to another part of the world, it seems unlikely that children from Central America have brought this particular enterovirus strain into the United States."
Last updated: 13 October 2014
Bremmer, Paul. "Mystery Virus Found Where Illegal Alien Kids Sent." WND. 8 October 2014. Hananoki, Eric. "Conservatives Falsely Blame Undocumented Children for Deadly Enterovirus." Media Matters for America. 8 October 2014. Lawler, Emily. "Enterovirus Outbreak Likely Not Coming from Undocumented Children, Experts Say." MLive. 6 October 2014. Garcia, Josefina et al. "Human Rhinoviruses and Enteroviruses in Influenza-Like Illness in Latin America." Virology Journal. 11 October 2013.