TIJUANA (Border Report) — A confirmed case of chickenpox has forced a migrant shelter for Venezuelans to go into quarantine as a way to avoid an outbreak.
The patient is a 49-year-old man who was diagnosed last Thursday.
He and his family are now in isolation at the shelter, said Dr. Jose Delgado, who runs Tijuana’s health department.
“Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that can spread quickly,” he said.
No other cases have been reported, but as a precaution, the facility will remain in quarantine through Dec. 8.
“Through this moment the situation is stable, we haven’t had any other cases, but it’s only been four days,” said Enrique Lucero, director of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office. “There’s no way to know where the man got infected, I’m guessing it was in a detention center for migrants in the United States.”
Lucero said the shelter has stopped taking more migrants as a precaution.
“Not all migrants have received their vaccinations back home, it all varies from country to country,” he said.
Lucero stated the shelter will remain operational through the end of the quarantine when an assessment will be made on whether to keep the facility running.
Since it opened on Nov. 9, many of the migrants have chosen to leave for Mexico City and Matamoros, a Mexican city on the border with Texas.
And the expected daily expulsion of 200 Venezuelan migrants from the U.S. into Tijuana has not materialized.
“We’ll see who is left, the objective is to help families, we’ll know in the coming days if more families with children are coming, if we start seeing only men and women, we need to start thinking of closing down,” Lucero said.
He told Border Report that right now there are 136 migrants at the sports-complex-turned-shelter, including 22 small children and six minors.
Lucero also said once the quarantine period is over, all remaining migrants will be vaccinated against chickenpox.