The U.S. government is so overwhelmed by the number of migrants crossing the border that it is having trouble keeping up with basic medical exams for all the children before transporting them to longer-term holding facilities across the country, ABC News is reporting .
There is reportedly a breakdown in the screening process at the Nogales, Arizona facility, according to the director of refugee health in the federal Health and Human Services Department.
According to a memo seen by ABC News, the “breakdown” comes from a failure of the handoff of the children between Customs and Border Protection and Health and Human Services.
Government officials are warning that they fear they and their teams face infectious diseases like flu and chickenpox after coming in contact with sick children.
Two unaccompanied children with 101-degree fevers and flu-like symptoms were flown from Nogales to California, according to the Department of Defense memo. The children had to be hospitalized.
The memo also reported that three other children had to be hospitalized, two of them with strep pneumonia.
HHS told ABC News that children are supposed to be screened for illness before leaving the Border Patrol screening centers.
According to the memo, Curi Kim, the HHS director of the Division of Refugee Health, said the children were initially screened and cleared when they were moved into the Nogales facility “with no fever or significant symptoms.”
The children were apparently not re-screened before being transported to the temporary shelter.