EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — One of the most recent asylum seekers detained by Border Patrol was infected with flesh-eating bacteria.
Border Patrol says it’s seeing more large groups of illegal immigrants near the Antelope Wells Port of Entry.
KFOX 14 was told many are sick, but the man with flesh-eating bacteria is a rare case.
According to Border Patrol, 26 large groups of over 100 people illegally crossed over into the United States this fiscal year.
“We haven't seen these types of numbers in that area in a while,” said Border Patrol Agent Carlos Antunez.
Antunez said this has been happening
"We're seeing for example, chickenpox, different strands of influenza, syphilis, scabies,” said Antunez. “This is something that we see with the illegal aliens, and we have to provide treatment for them."
Antunez said any immigrant, adult or minor, gets taken to the hospital when sick.
"If they need medical attention, they get transported to a local hospital,” said Antunez. “They wear gloves and masks to protect themselves."
But can diseases spread from immigrants who are coming in with sickness?
University of Texas at El Paso professor of social work Dr. Mark Lusk said there’s not a chance.
"I've been studying the migrants who have been coming from Central America and Mexico for the last 11 years,” said Lusk. "The evidence (is) not reporting that exotic diseases are coming in from the south."
Lusk says people shouldn't be worried about exotic diseases becoming a problem.
"Exotic diseases such as the ones we worry about that happen in (other) countries, such as Ebola, those are not being reported in this population,” said Lusk.
Border Patrol said it doesn’t feel diseases spreading are an issue, either as they do all they can to stop all dangers, including sickness, at their front line.