CBP: ‘Flu-related illness’ halts intake at Central Processing Center

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced the temporary suspension of intake operations at the Central Processing Center in McAllen after a “large number” of migrants “were displaying signs of a flu related illness,” according to a statement from CBP officials.

“To avoid the spread of illness, the Rio Grande Valley Sector has temporarily suspended intake operations at the CPC. Individuals apprehended in RGV Sector will be held at other locations until this situation is resolved,” the statement read.

The suspension of intake operations at the main processing hub comes after medical staff identified several persons held in custody who showed signs of flu-like symptoms.

“On May 21, 2019, medical staff at the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) in McAllen, Texas, identified a large number of subjects in custody with high fevers and displaying signs of flu related illness,” the statement read in part. “Medical staff are currently working to provide all subjects with proper medical treatment.”

The announcement also comes on the heels of the death of the fifth minor to die while in CBP custody.

CBP officials said Carlos Hernandez-Vazquez, 16, was found unresponsive at the U.S. Border Patrol station in Weslaco on Monday morning.

Hernandez-Vazquez, was seen by medical staff Sunday, May 19, and prescribed Tamiflu after a nurse diagnosed him with having Influenza A.

During a welfare check Monday morning, he was found unresponsive. Medical staff attempted to save his life but were unsuccessful, CBP officials said.

It’s unclear how many people were affected by the illness.

CBP officials did not provide further details.