3 new flu cases reported at local migrant shelter

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SAN DIEGO -- There were three new cases of influenza-like illnesses among undocumented immigrants flown into San Diego last week from a Texas federal detention center, county health officials said Monday.

That brings to 35 the number of immigrants displaying symptoms at a downtown shelter since dozens began arriving daily last week from a federal facility in McAllen, Texas, where a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died of the flu while in federal custody several days ago.

Federal officials shut down the Texas facility for cleaning after the outbreak, and began moving the detainees to San Diego.

The first of those transfers arrived in San Diego on May 19. By May 23, at least 16 people were experiencing flu symptoms at the shelter, a refurbished courthouse opened in March to house undocumented  migrants.

The following day, officials reported 13 new cases among 47 new arrivals, expanding the number of cases to 29 since May 19.

On Saturday, two new cases were reported among 34 new migrants screened, one of whom was sent to an emergency room for treatment.

Five families -- 14 people in all -- remain quarantined at various hotels in San Diego.

San Diego has seen 27 separate flu outbreaks at long-term, group or detention facilities so far this flu season, county health officials said.

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