32 Confirmed Cases of Influenza at McAllen Migrant Processing Center

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MCALLEN – Customs and Border Protection announced they re-opened their central processing center in McAllen after Tuesday night's temporary closure.

According to CBP officials, there were 32 people in their custody who were determined to have influenza.

They were all at the processing facility operated by the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector in McAllen.

Officials reported their facilities teams cleaned up the processing center in McAllen, as well as stations in Rio Grande City, Falfurrias, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Kingsville and others; including checkpoints where people could be temporarily detained.

The 32 who tested positive for influenza were all immigrants, but their ages were not disclosed.

The medical contractors conducted thermometer testing as part of the diagnosing process.

Those who were considered sick were separated from the rest of the detention population and moved to two other Border Patrol stations.

They received medical attention from medical staff at local hospitals and/or medical providers at CBP facilities.

They have also received their prescribed medication.

According to the agency, the group had previously received a medical screening.

However, medical screenings are typically comprised of a medical questionnaire and a check of their vitals.

It does not include a flu test.

CBP officials said they don't have the medical staff to provide vaccinations within their facilities.

On Monday, CBP reported a 16-year-old died in their custody at the Weslaco Border Patrol station.

He had been diagnosed with influenza and was separated while he awaited transportation to a Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter in Brownsville.

CBP officials confirmed whether the teen had contact with the group of 32 who tested positive with influenza is something they're considering in subsequent medical investigations.

Currently, there is about 2,500 people at the central processing center in McAllen, including the additional space they've recently added via soft-sided facilities.

CBP released a statement:

“On May 21, 2019, medical staff at the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) in McAllen, Texas identified 32 individuals who tested positive for influenza. To avoid the spread of illness, the Rio Grande Valley Sector temporarily suspended intake operations at the CPC.

The U.S. Border Patrol moved swiftly to mitigate the spread of any illness, including sterilizing the facility, conducting medical assessments of all individuals and providing treatment on site or in local hospitals as appropriate. The CPC has resumed normal operations.”


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