Gingrey: Child migrants pose health risk

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) warned that the unaccompanied children illegally crossing the border into the U.S. carrying infectious diseases could pose a threat to public health.

In a letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden, Gingrey, a former physician, expressed concern that the child migrants could spread illnesses such as Ebola virus, dengue fever, tuberculosis and swine flu throughout the country. 

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"As the unaccompanied children continue to be transported to shelters around the country on commercial airlines and other forms of transportation, I have serious concerns that the diseases carried by these children may begin to spread too rapidly to control," Gingrey wrote.

Gingrey noted that many of the child migrants have not been vaccinated for chicken pox or measles, posing a threat to unvaccinated Americans.

"Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles. This makes those Americans that are not vaccinated - and especially young children and the elderly - particularly susceptible," Gingrey wrote. 

Gingrey, who failed in his bid for Senate this year, requested that the CDC provide information on how it plans to control the public health risks. He requested data on how border patrol agents who come into contact with infected children are protected, decontamination efforts and medical screenings of children.

"I request that the CDC take immediate action to assess the public risk posed by the influx of unaccompanied children and their subsequent transfer to different parts of the country," Gingrey said.