36 more flu cases diagnosed at local migrant shelter

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SAN DIEGO — Health officials reported 13 new cases of influenza-like illnesses Sunday among undocumented immigrants sheltered in San Diego and 23 additional cases Saturday.

The reports bring the weekend’s total to 36 and the total number of cases identified since the migrants arrived from a federal facility in McAllen, Texas, on May 19 to 141.

Fourteen families — 34 people in all — remain quarantined at various hotels in San Diego.

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. Hundreds of people at a migrant shelter in Bankers Hill operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego have since received a health screening.

DHS officials and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the plan to begin flying detained asylum seekers from Texas to San Diego on May 17.

The transportation is necessary, according to federal immigration authorities, because CBP facilities are largely overwhelmed with new detainees, many of them families and children requesting asylum. CBP agents have detained an average of 4,500 migrants at the border each day this year.

San Diego County health officials define a flu outbreak as one person being diagnosed with the virus and a second person contracting and developing the disease within 72 hours. The county said it plans to continue monitoring the situation and providing updates on new flu cases at the shelter.

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