Twenty-One Refugees Diagnosed with Active TB in Nebraska
Twenty-one refugees resettled in Nebraska were diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB) between 2011 and 2015, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services tells Breitbart News.
Two of those refugees were diagnosed with active TB within ninety days of arriving in Nebraska during an initial domestic medical screening. The remaining 19 refugees were diagnosed with active TB within five years of their arrival in Nebraska.
The estimated 10,000 refugees who live in Nebraska comprise less than one percent of the state’s 1.9 million population. Yet the 21 cases of active TB diagnosed among resettled refugees in Nebraska accounted for more than 15 percent of the 137 total cases of active TBdiagnosed in the entire population of the state between 2011 and 2015.
Nebraska joins a number of other states in which Breitbart News has confirmed recently arrived refugees have been diagnosed with active TB. Twenty-seven cases of active TB were diagnosed in Wisconsin, 21 in Louisiana, 17 in Vermont, 16 in Colorado, 11 in Florida,7 in Idaho, 4 in one county in North Dakota, 4 in Indiana, and 9 in one county in Kentucky.
In fact, every state that has provided data to Breitbart News about refugee health has confirmed that recently resettled refugees have been diagnosed with active TB in the state.
Many states Breitbart News contacted, like New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, however, have so far either refused to provide refugee health data or simply not responded.
Among the states that have provided all or part of the refugee health data Breitbart News requested, some patterns are apparent. Idaho and Nebraska, for instance, have several similarities. The two states have the same population (1.9 million), the same percentage of foreign-born population (6 percent), and high per capita rates of refugee resettlement.
As Breitbart News reported, 82 percent of the 38 cases of active TB diagnosed in Nebraska in 2014 were foreign-born. During the three-year period between 2012 and 2014, 73 percent of the 37 cases of active TB diagnosed in Idaho were foreign-born.
Nebraska reported that two cases of active TB were diagnosed among refugees during their initial domestic medical screenings conducted within 90 days of their arrival during the years between 2011 and 2015. Idaho reported that seven cases of active TB were diagnosed among refugees during their initial domestic medical screenings conducted within 90 days of their arrival.
Nebraska, however, has been more forthcoming so far in its provision of refugee health data.
The state reported that, in addition to the two cases of active TB diagnosed among refugees upon arrival, an additional 19 cases were diagnosed during the first five years subsequent to their arrival.
Idaho has yet to answer Breitbart’s questions about the number of refugees who have been diagnosed with active TB during the first five years following their arrival.
High levels of latent TB infection (LTBI) among resettled refugees is another pattern apparent from the refugee health data Breitbart News has been able to obtain from cooperating states.
As Breitbart News reported, approximately 4 percent of the general population in the United States has LTBI, in contrast to 33 percent of the population throughout the world.
Though 10 percent of the general population that tests positive for LTBI develops active TB at some point in their life, that activation percentage seems to be significantly higher in the resettled refugee population in the United States, according to a number of recent medical studies.
Twenty-five percent of the 4,848 refugees who completed initial domestic medical screenings in Nebraska during this five-year period tested positive for latent TB infection (LTBI), the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services tells Breitbart News.
Several other states, including Vermont (35 percent) and Tennessee (27 percent), report higher rates of LTBI among refugees
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