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Active Cases Of Tuberculosis Found In Central American Immigrants

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Two immigrants at an El Paso facility have reportedly tested positive for tuberculosis. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Two immigrants at an El Paso facility have reportedly tested positive for tuberculosis. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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EL PASO (CBS Houston) – Two Central American immigrants who were brought to a Border Patrol facility in El Paso have been found to have active tuberculosis, reports KVIA-TV.

“We’re concerned for our agents and they’re absolutely concerned about taking something back to their families or contracting something from these people that we have to process,” said Stu Harris with the National Border Patrol Council Local 1929.

Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it can also affect the brain, kidney and spine. A person with active TB is considered infectious; if they cough or sneeze and another person inhales the droplets, they can also become affected. Not everyone infected with the TB bacterial becomes sick.

Harris told KVIA-TV this is another reason to tighten border security. “It’s an unfortunate circumstance that we’re in. It’s going to continue to happen until something can be done in south Texas to secure the border.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement saying it takes the safety of its officers very seriously. “U.S. Border Patrol agents have taken extraordinary measures to care for these children while in custody and to maintain security in overcrowded facilities” it said. “CBP has public health controls in place to minimize any possible health risks.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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