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More Flu Cases Reported At San Diego Migrant Shelter

Two women sit on their bunks combing their hair after bathing at a temporary ...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Two women sit on their bunks combing their hair after bathing at a temporary shelter for migrant families in downtown San Diego, March 27, 2019.

An outbreak of influenza among migrants flown into San Diego last week from a Texas federal detention center appears to be dwindling, albeit with six new cases in the past two days.

County health officials reported three new cases of flu-like symptoms on Monday. That brings the number to 35 of migrants displaying symptoms at a downtown shelter since dozens began arriving daily last week from a federal facility in McAllen, Texas, where a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died of the flu while in federal custody on May 20.

By Reporter Susan Murphy

An outbreak of influenza among migrants flown into San Diego last week from a Texas federal detention center appears to be dwindling, albeit with six new cases in the past two days.

Federal officials shut down the Texas facility for cleaning after the outbreak and began moving the detainees to San Diego.

RELATED: Flu Outbreak Hits San Diego Migrant Shelter

The first of those transfers arrived in San Diego on May 19. By May 23, at least 16 people were experiencing flu symptoms at the shelter, a refurbished courthouse opened in March to house undocumented migrants.

The following day, officials reported 13 new cases among 47 new arrivals, expanding the number of cases to 29 since May 19.

On Saturday, two new cases were reported among 34 new migrants screened, one of whom was sent to an emergency room for treatment.

RELATED: Border Facility Stops Migrant Intake After ‘Flu-Related’ Outbreak

Five families — 14 people in all — remain quarantined at various hotels in San Diego.

County officials said migrants receive medical exams when they first arrive at the shelter to check for communicable diseases. As an added precaution, they’re now screened every day for flu symptoms, such as fever and congestion.

San Diego has seen 27 separate flu outbreaks at long-term, group or detention facilities so far this flu season, county health officials said.

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

In today’s San Diego News Matters podcast, the flu continues to spread among migrants at a downtown shelter with more people now under quarantine. Plus, meet a Marine Corps veteran dedicated to remembering his comrades with a special Memorial Day tribute. And, as the 2020 election cycle gears up, KPBS talks with newly elected chair of the County Democratic Party about his election strategy.

Aired: May 28, 2019 | Transcript

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