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Immigrant Boy Who Died in U.S. Custody Had Influenza

by Axios | Updated on 12.28.18

The 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died on Christmas Eve while in U.S. custody tested positive for influenza B, the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator said, per USA Today.

Details: Felipe Gómez Alonzo and his father had been detained for a few days when a border agent "noticed Felipe was coughing and had 'glossy eyes,'" USA Today reports. He was then sent to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a cold and fever, and observed for 90 minutes by U.S. Customs and Border Protection before being released on Monday afternoon. Hours later, he returned to the hospital for nausea and vomiting, and later died. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen plans to travel to El Paso, Texas, on Friday to observe CBP's medical screen process.

Go deeper: U.S. Customs orders medical checks after second immigrant child dies

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(65)
  • Chickie
    12/28/2018
    ···

    Unless Neilson is going to improve the situation with the thousands seeking asylum, I don’t see why she is going to ‘observe’. #45’s administration has shown nothing but racial hate and disdain for those seeking refuge in the US. Why not involve churches of every denomination to offer aid, assistance and compassion for the asylum seekers? Currently, our government is doing nothing but letting children die, tearing babies/children from their parents or scorning their very existence. What we’ve done is place people of a certain nationality, in camps that have guards carrying guns, in an enclosed area that those seeking refuge cannot leave. Oh wait, isn’t that the definition of a concentration camp? The US is SO much better than what it is doing to the oppressed seeking asylum. It’s time we step up and do what is right.

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  • Livia
    12/28/2018
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    I have been leaving my comments, I don't know what happens to them because they don't show up some of them do some of them don't America is not responsible, for families that are trying to come into our country illegally,That responsibility falls on the parents, America does not have the resources for all of these people coming across our borders. I feel very bad about the two children who have passed away, but that does not fall on America, are you responsible for your neighbors children. People want to come to the United States that's fine but you must come in legally. Not trying to force your way across our borders. We have another 15,000 headed our way to come across our borders, how do we support all of these people. I want a legal system for immigration

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  • JTJ
    12/28/2018
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    But you leftists told us that these people were not carrying any diseases. Close the border until the wall is fully funded.

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  • David
    12/28/2018
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    We are the wealthiest country in world history. We refuse to provide adequate medical care to our own citizens let alone refugees coming to our country. Think about that.

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  • Cindy
    12/28/2018
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    These people were given asylum by the Mexico government. They refused. They brought sick children to the US. Border security are not trained doctors, Nurses, Paramedics or EMTs. They do not “observe” a patient like this article stated as if under border security is a hospital. The FATHER should have taken refuge with Mexico, sadly HIS error has taken the life of HIS child.

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  • Mark
    12/28/2018
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    Countable told me only citizens carry disease. Illegal alien immigrants are as clean and pure as the driven snow. Now pretty, pretty please with cinnamon and sugar on it.... build the wall. While we still have a nation worth protecting.

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  • John
    12/28/2018
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    Provide medical care, legal care, and humanitarian assistance to the refugees/asylum seekers. Close the concentration camps.

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  • Caren
    12/28/2018
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    Unfortunate the boy had a misdiagnosis. People seem to forget that doctors are not God and they do make mistakes. Perhaps more testing needed to be done. Again , when the boy first got sick the father should have sought care. There are competent doctors and hospitals in Mexico. We really need the wall and we especially need strict information distributed letting people know they cannot expect free housing, healthcare, and to be supported. Democrats are such idiots when it comes to priorities and what’s best for the country. Democrats want to give away everything at the expense of hardworking people just to get votes by making promises they don’t intend to keep or they want to raise taxes. Reprobated Democrats want power and to benefit at our expense.

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  • Lionman
    12/28/2018
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    It is horribly tragic that we’ve had children lose their lives in the custody of CBP, that’s something we ALL agree to. However, the CBP know they’re apprehending these folks in remote areas, they need to have a plan to provide medical services in remote situations. What would they do if one of their officers fell ill out there or were injured? And because we have taken them into custody, the US does take responsibility for what happens to them, at least to some degree. That’s just how our system of law works.

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  • Ray
    12/28/2018
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    When our government arrests and imprisons children and their parents, in a direct way, we are taking responsibility to take care of them as well. Any harm coming to them in custody is our direct responsibility.

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  • J
    12/28/2018
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    Another indication of a government run by fools. Illegal immigration policies compounded by border agents following autocratic Nazi-inspired police tactics with the Republican version of health insurance, which should be known as die, baby, die. Remember, a minority of people inspired by Russian trolls voted these inept murderers into office.

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  • Naftoli
    12/28/2018
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    Shame on the parent for dragging that boy thru the desert and subjecting his son to that. He is guilty of child endangerment & is guilty of murder.

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  • Colleen
    12/28/2018
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    Why don’t they investigate why that child was being brought to this country with the flu? That family brought the flu over our border with no regard to how it would be spread, Also why is no one paying attention to the LEGAL immigrant that was living out his dream of being a sheriff only to be killed by an ILLEGAl alien? Why is his life any less important than that of the child’s? Could it be that it doesn’t fit with the democrats agenda.

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  • Kari
    12/28/2018
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    Anyone who is against dealing with this situation humanely and with common decency, hand in your Christian card. This is not what Jesus died for. While you’re at it, hand in your patriot card, because you are so uninformed and cowardly that you would rather break international law out of fear, than uphold the values your country was founded on. We are acting like Nazi Germany, treating human beings like cattle and keeping them in concentration camps, in conditions more deplorable than livestock.

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  • suzanneh2017
    12/29/2018
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    I call myself a pragmatic a liberal Democrat. I do not think that the press and people should continue To belabor this point. It is a tragedy that either one of these children died. However they didn’t come here and die instantly. They came sick and were treated.

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  • Gerry
    12/30/2018
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    Great. Make our people sick. Don’t need this crap

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  • Marty
    12/28/2018
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    How many children have died on the ay up here? Why isn’t the media and democrats raising hell about that. It is also my understanding the father used the child as a way to get easier entry into the United States left the wife and 2 daughters behind for a later trip. Now you got 15,000 more illegal immigrants forming a caravan to head to the states. It is time to put a stop to it, if they get across it time for you to leave office.

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  • BlondieEsquire
    12/28/2018
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    Please launch an investigation into DHS’s detention and (lack of) treatment of migrant children. There is no justification for this ongoing detention and the conditions are as deplorable as the administration that put them there.

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  • Linda
    12/28/2018
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    Many people die of influenza even with good health treatment, especially children and the elderly. That is why the CDC urges everyone to be vaccinated. This is not the fault of Border Control. It is due to inadequate ( no vaccination) medical care long before he reached the border. Only thing I can suggest is to administer a rapid influenza test to anyone with respiratory symptoms. That would be expensive. Is Congress going to fund that? But even if he had been diagnosed and received the best possible treatment, he may have died anyway. And he exposed how many others to flu? Influenza is a dangerous disease. There are lots of risks when you choose to travel long distances with small children. The boy’s father decided to take those risks.

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  • Raffay
    12/28/2018
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    This is absurd. I am a Texan. I suffered from influenza just last week. I received treatment, and I am a second generation immigrant. This was not only easily treatable, but treatable through tax efforts. They have the right to be treated.

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