Are the thousands of illegal immigrant kids housed in detention facilities happy and well fed -- or are they living in disease-infested compounds shrouded in secrecy?
Well, it depends on who you ask.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seems to think the children coming across the southern border are remarkably healthy. It's a sentiment shared by BCFS -- the Texas-based agency formerly known asBaptist Child & Family Services contracted to run camps at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and Fort Sill in Oklahoma.
More than 7,000 children have been processed through the two camps, according to a BCFS official. They allege that only 119 children have been treated for lice, 22 for scabies, and one for the H1N1 Flu. BCFS says the most common illnesses seen at Lackland are fever, headache, upper respiratory cold and ingrown toenails.
However, at least a half dozen anonymous sources, including nurses and health care providers who worked at Lackland, allege that the government is covering up what they believe to be a very serious health threat.
Several of my sources tell me that tuberculosis has become a dangerous issue at both the border and the camps.
"The amount of tuberculosis is astonishing," one health care provider told me. "The nurses are telling us the kids are really sick. The tuberculosis is definitely there."
Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner David Lakey, M.D. says state health officials have seen only three cases of tuberculosis, the Associated Press reports. One of my sources with close ties to the Texas HHS tells me all three cases were reported in Austin.
However, nurses at Lackland in San Antonio, said they know of at least four teenagers in their camp who have tuberculosis.
"The nurses are telling us the kids are really sick," the source told me. "The tuberculosis is definitely there."
My source said there are children showing classic tuberculosis symptoms -- spitting up blood, a constant cough and chest pain.
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