As Republican lawmakers suggest that undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border may be responsible for bringing measles and other diseases into the country, Mexican health authorities are warning people traveling to the United States about the risk of infection here following an outbreak of measles at Disneyland last month that has sickened dozens of people in several states.
It’s a remarkable reversal that demonstrates how far public health in Latin America has advanced in the past few decades — especially in contrast to measles’s alarming return in the United States.
Health officials in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico, are distributing pamphlets with information about measles at airports, bus stations and border crossings. They’re urging anyone with plans to travel to U.S. states where the outbreak has spread to immunize themselves, if they haven’t already.
These actions follow the arrival of two people with measles in Mexico from the United States last month, one of them an infant nearing her second birthday. Measles poses grave risks to small children, including permanent deafness, brain damage and death.
“The U.S. exported [the] measles virus to Mexico,” Anne Schuchat, an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said.