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Medical News

Delay Deportation Until TB Therapy Complete: Report

May 16, 2003

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Many illegal immigrants with TB are deported from the United States before they can finish treatment, according to a report released Thursday by an advisory council to the US government.

The practice of deporting illegal immigrants before they finish treatment puts the world at risk by encouraging the spread of treatment-resistant forms of the disease, according to Dr. Masae Kawamura of the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis. Kawamura, who is also director of San Francisco's TB control program, said, "Drug-resistance is a man-made problem. The reason why we have drug resistance is because of incomplete treatment."

Kawamura argued that deporting illegal immigrants to their home country before they can be cured of TB is "inhumane" because people can die without treatment and dangerous because people who relapse can spread the disease to others. "They can infect dozens of people, that's possible, on either side of the border," Kawamura said.

According to the new report published by CDC, around 150 illegal immigrants detained by the US government are found to have TB each year. The report also indicates that the rate of TB is 12 times higher among detainees than in the overall US population. The report, "Post-Detention Completion of Tuberculosis Treatment for Persons Deported or Released from the Custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- United States 2003," was published in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2003;52(19):438-441).

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While all undocumented people with TB receive some treatment before being transferred or deported, the Immigration and Naturalization Service only requires that treatment continue until the people are no longer contagious, and it does not require that they complete the entire course of treatment. Despite effective treatments, TB kills an estimated 2 million people every year. Eight million new cases are reported annually.

Back to other CDC news for May 16, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Reuters Health
05.15.03; Alison McCook

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
Tuberculosis (TB) Fact Sheet
Questions and Answers About Tuberculosis
More News on Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS
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