Sunday , April 2 2023

Tuberculosis, flu and insubordination hit migrants on their way to the US


The path from Central tropical America, from the jungle to the giant capital of Mexico and then into the desert that leads to the United States, reduces the health of the crowded immigrant caravan who suffers extreme climatic changes in addition to overcrowding and physical exhaustion.

At dawn, nearly 5,000 Central Americans, most of the Hondurans, walked again, stoics, to their American dream, pushing carts with children still asleep and pulling heavy blankets facing a cold night in the outer corridors of the Corregidora stadium in central Querétaro.

But as soon as they reached the point where the way to the neighboring Guanajuato began, the first signs of wear and tear appeared among the weakest members of this swarm of people.

An adolescent girl has gone to the side of the road.

"It takes days of fever," she touched to tell one of the young men who accompanied him before he was loaded.

A few yards ahead, a 4-year-old girl from Honduras collapsed on the floor, twisting herself, making an eternal line to climb a trailer with her mother, Mirna Carolina Ayala.

"I do not know what you have, you did not want to eat in the days … if anything happens, I die on you," the woman said between sighs at AFP, while paramedics administered her oxygen to the girl.

Madaleli small "brings the fever and glucose is high, it should be evaluated by a pediatric team for a possible prediabetes.It is dehydrated, did not eat well," said Luis Manuel Martinez, Emergency Emergency Coordinator of the Secretary of the local health.

When she regained consciousness, the girl was taken to an ambulance in a hospital. His cries of pain had a lot of fun in the caravan.

Winter is approaching

In general, the caravan comes in "damaged condition".

"They come from a warm climate and here the temperature becomes lower, more wear, people are not accustomed to these walking days, eat badly and fall asleep," explains Martínez.

For the doctor, the most pressing risks are respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

"We have detected pockets of infection by influenza and tuberculosis," said a doctor from the Red Cross who asked for anonymity and spent the night in the shelter.

At dawn a sympathy of sneezes, sighing in sighs and coughing, echoes in the overcrowded stadium, struck by strong winds of cold air.

"Most of us have been affected by coughs, flu, because of the cold, cold weather, can not resist," said José Castellano, a 20-year-old Honduran who left the medical center of the camp with his hands full of drugs .

The spread of viruses and bacteria is common.

"If you do not take your boat with water, you have to take it from your partner," explains the shivering young man under the two pants and the double jacket you saw.

Castellano understands that every passing day is closer to winter, reaching temperatures below zero at the northern border.

"You must be prepared not to kill us with hypothermia," he said.

Garbage and few toilets

Tuberculosis affects the lungs, causing coughs, fever, night sweats and weight loss, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it is treatable if treated promptly, it spreads through coughing, sneezing or spitting, such as flu.

These diseases can degenerate into epidemics, cause pneumonia or death.

Migrants sleep dormant in the open air, forming a giant carpet or a multicolored mosaic. Along with them there are always mobile toilets, which sometimes exceed, besides the mountain of dirt and debris that generates.

The stadium has lent ten toilets, "five for men and five for women (…) and we are a lot," complained Julio Díaz, a Honduras electrician who needs to heal his baby for an eye infection.

"The problem is that some of us who are here are worried, but others are very dirty, they have no education, Pigs!" He said, holding a plastic plastic bag.

Through the labyrinth corridors of the resounding camp he calls for headaches, bones, legs, shoulders, molars, stomachs, chest. There are also pains of the soul.

"What hurts me is the heart, I miss everything I love in my country," says Araceli López, a single mother who embraces her daughter with a louse comb.

"Children always embrace and play, so they're all full of lice," she explains as she crushes a parasite between her nails.

by Yemeli ORTEGA


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