There’s been an explosion of pushcart vendors in Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County this year selling various foods, enough to gain the attention of Help Save Manassas which recently started an effort to ensure licensing compliance in these jurisdictions. Reports have since flooded in that these vendors are suspected of being illegal aliens and many have engaged in licensing fraud, or are operating without licenses at all. More than just being a nuisance, it appears that there may be a significant health issue involved.
WorldNetDaily has reported on some disturbing trends involving a dramatic rise in the number of once-rare diseases that appears to be related to illegal aliens in their commentary on a report by the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons:
[Tuberculosis] had largely disappeared from America, thanks to excellent hygiene and powerful modern drugs such as isoniazid and rifampin,” says the report. “TB’s swift, deadly return now is lethal for about 60 percent of those infected because of new Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis. Until recently MDR-TB was endemic to Mexico. This Mycobacterium tuberculosis is resistant to at least two major anti-tubercular drugs. Ordinary TB usually is cured in six months with four drugs that cost about $2,000. MDR-TB takes 24 months with many expensive drugs that cost around $250,000 with toxic side effects. Each illegal with MDR-TB coughs and infects 10 to 30 people, who will not show symptoms immediately. Latent disease explodes later.
TB was virtually absent in Virginia until in 2002, when it spiked a 17 percent increase, but Prince William County, just south of Washington, D.C., had a much larger rise of 188 percent. Public health officials blamed immigrants. In 2001 the Indiana School of Medicine studied an outbreak of MDR-TB, and traced it to Mexican illegal aliens. The Queens, New York, health department attributed 81 percent of new TB cases in 2001 to immigrants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ascribed 42 percent of all new TB cases to ‘foreign born’ people who have up to eight times higher incidences apparently, 66 percent of all TB cases coming to America originate in Mexico, the Philippines and Vietnam.”
Other health threats from illegals include, according to the report:
- Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis or “kissing bug disease,” is transmitted by the reduviid bug, which prefers to bite the lips and face. The protozoan parasite that it carries, Trypanosoma cruzi, infects 18 million people annually in Latin America and causes 50,000 deaths. The disease also infiltrates America’s blood supply. Chagas affects blood transfusions and transplanted organs. No cure exists. Hundreds of blood recipients may be silently infected.
- Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, was so rare in America that in 40 years only 900 people were afflicted. Suddenly, in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy. Leprosy now is endemic to northeastern states because illegal aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from India, Brazil, the Caribbean and Mexico.
- Dengue fever is exceptionally rare in America, though common in Ecuador, Peru, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Mexico. Recently, according to the report, there was a virulent outbreak of dengue fever in Webb County, Texas, which borders Mexico. Though dengue is usually not a fatal disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever routinely kills.
- Polio was eradicated from America, but now reappears in illegal immigrants as do intestinal parasites, says the report.
- Malaria was obliterated, but now is re-emerging in Texas.
Because many of these vendors are not properly licensed (in Manassas it is reported that the only valid licensee is a person living in Dallas, Texas who is unlikely to be pushing an ice cream cart on Lomond Drive), there’s no screening to help prevent someone infected with one of these communicable diseases from selling food. There may be no inspections being performed to determine whether the street peddlers are complying with health regulations. Since there seems to be an active attempt here to circumvent licensing regulations, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that the person selling your children ice cream out of a pushcart is making a strong effort to protect them from disease or adulterated foods.
If you see one of these pushcarts, you may want to contact the police so they can determine whether the vendors are potentially endangering our community. My understanding is that the Manassas Police Department and the Prince William County Police Department are taking this pretty seriously, although in the county police officers are prohibited by policy from asking these individuals whether they are illegal aliens or not, which probably is extremely relevant to determining what the public safety risks of a violation may be. Manassas Park so far hasn’t been very interested in dealing with this, but I’m pretty sure they’ll have to pretty soon.
This is becoming a big issue, very quickly. Parents aren’t too thrilled by the notion that their children are at risk of contracting disease-resistant tuberculosis from street vendors who are actively evading licensing regulations.
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