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October 13, 2014

Did Illegal Immigrant Children Bring Enterovirus to the US (and ... err...Canada)?

The Editorial Staff have been seeing suggestions that they did crop up like mushrooms after a few days of rain. So far, the cases we've seen for Obama having caused this traveshamockery seem to follow the same general script:

1. Enterovirus 68 is common in Central/Latin America.
2. Obama allowed a large influx of illegal immigrant children from Central/Latin America.
3. There are reports that some of these children had tuberculosis.
4. These children were sent to other states.
5. About the same time, enterovirus outbreaks occurred.
6. Therefore, the resettling of illegal immigrant children caused the US enterovirus outbreaks.

Some articles note the suspicious (!) coincidence timing of the outbreak, claiming this somehow supports the theory that illegal children are the cause:

Though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) refuses to discuss the origin of the current outbreak of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), the fact that emergency rooms across the country began seeing infected children around the same time as the nation's public schools were re-opening for the 2013-2014 school year, should serve as at least a clue as to how the virus made its way here.

Can you say non sequitur, boys and girls? We knew that you could:

Six clusters (equal to or more than 10 cases) or outbreaks between 2005 and 2011 have been reported from the Philippines, Japan, the Netherlands, and the states of Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona in the United States.[6] EV68 was found in 2 of 5 children during a 2012/13 cluster of polio-like disease in California.[7]

Cases have been described to occur late in the enterovirus season,[6] which is typically during the warm months, from spring to autumn (August and September in the Northern hemisphere).

But apparently, rumors are far more contagious than either Enterovirus or Ebola. In case you're not convinced yet, there's even a handy dandy map. We draw the attention of the assembled villainry to the center of the map:


Maps appear to be spreading like... well, enterovirus. Everyone's got one. Here's a map showing the dispersion of illegal immigrant children by state(Note: blue circles mine). Again, please pay special attention to the center of the map:


Now let's go back in time about 4 weeks to see where the early outbreak clusters occurred:


It would seem that these observations require some explanation:

Enterovirus 68 is not new in America. It was first reported in 1962 in California, and it could be related to earlier Enterovirus outbreaks in Asia. Enterovirus 68 has been reported in the United States every year since 1987. What is unusual this year is the higher number of cases.

...The first cases of Enterovirus 68 were reported in Kansas City, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. The location of the outbreak is important, as it does not correlate with large numbers of immigrant children in those areas.

...Enterovirus 68 is not a common virus in Central or South America. Since 2008, outbreaks of Enterovirus 68 have been reported in the United States, Asia and northern Europe, but not Central or South America. Since the 1960s, only a handful of cases have ever been reported in the region. Source: CDC.

...The top ten states receiving immigrant children have seen no major Enterovirus 68 outbreaks.

Oh, and despite a conspicuous lack of illegal immigrant children from Central America there, there's an outbreak in Canada.

Now far be it from the Editorial Staff to make excuses for The Lightworker but we are not seeing a slam dunk case here. Or even a persuasive or credible one. There may well be a case to be made, but it will have to be a lot better than the ones we've seen so far.

Posted by Cassandra at October 13, 2014 10:10 AM

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I was curious about this possible link, too, when articles first began appearing about it. Every article I found stopped at the "stands to reason" stage. Admittedly, a lot of writers lacked information about exactly where the kids had gone, a subject the administration didn't at first seem interested in providing good information about. If your stats are for real, though, it looks like a thoroughly weak theory.

Posted by: Texan99 at October 13, 2014 12:39 PM

The entire argument (from what I can see) consists of a lot of "First this happened, then that. Therefore, this caused that" with no causal link ever established.

Bizarre. I don't actually rule out the possibility of some link - I'd require evidence to be convinced of it, but the absence of evidence doesn't convince me it's false either. But this really seems like weak sauce and I'm surprised at how widespread it is.

My favorite map - one I didn't post - showed that the infections traveled along [some] major highways [but not others].

EGAD - there are interstate highways connecting some of these places! WHO KNEW???

Posted by: Cassandra at October 13, 2014 01:02 PM

I'm not making a case, I'm making an observation. Suppose all those kids were asymptomatic and not contagious for say 24-48 hours, They start getting moved around and then the outbreaks would occur at other locations, especially major transit routes (I-40, 70, 80, 90 E-W). Also I-15, 35, and 95 N-S).

Which with the small S&H fee will get you that cup of coffee. It's just a curious surmise how it could happen.

Posted by: Allen at October 13, 2014 07:16 PM

Suppose all those kids were asymptomatic and not contagious for say 24-48 hours. They start getting moved around and then the outbreaks would occur at other locations, especially major transit routes (I-40, 70, 80, 90 E-W). Also I-15, 35, and 95 N-S).

I suppose that's possible, but a lot of things are possible (among them, the possibility that the virus spread along the same routes by people who aren't illegal immigrant children :p). The pertinent question is: what actually happened, and how good is the evidence backing up this particular theory?

The hands-down dumbest (and that was a very high bar) post on this I've seen cites a "study" in which about 3400 patients with respiratory illnesses from 8 different countries in South and Central America were tested. Guess how many had ANY form of enterovirus? 84.

Guess how many had enterovirus 68? 10.

Keep in mind the sample here is people who are already hospitalized with severe respiratory illnesses. Meanwhile, there have been 6 documented outbreaks of EV68 in the last few years.:

Philippines - 21 cases

Georgia, USA - 6 cases
Pennsylvania, USA - 28 cases

Netherlands - 24 cases
Japan - over 120 cases
Arizona, US - 5 cases

2014 - outside US:

Alberta, CA - 49 cases
British Columbia, CA - 3 cases
Ontario, CA - over 100 cases

Now exactly why a study published in 2013 (using data that - as far as I can tell - was collected in 2011) that found only 10 cases in 8 different countries should be seen as some kind of Important Smoking Gun, I really cannot say.

What I can say is that a lot of bloggers seem to be inventing theories that would prove them right instead of looking critically at the data. I'm pretty sure that's not how the scientific method is supposed to work :p

UPDATE: Ah... here we go. The data was collected in 2010 and 2011.

Link to the entire study:


Posted by: Cassandra at October 13, 2014 08:07 PM

Time to update the maps. One dead child in NJ one dead in Arizona and one dead in Rhode Island. Also 9 paralyzed in Colorado.

Posted by: magicbeans at October 16, 2014 07:44 PM

All of which proves absolutely nothing about where this virus came from.

Especially since 3 of 6 previous global outbreaks of this strain of enterovirus occurred in the United States.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 20, 2014 08:37 AM

I am honestly impressed.
I only wonder where this undaunted commitment to cold hard facts and hesitance to jump to conclusions goes whenever the truth would not swing in the Democrats' favor before an election.
Snarky truth-seekers seem to sit silent at those times.

Posted by: Drab at October 29, 2014 08:31 PM

I only wonder where this undaunted commitment to cold hard facts and hesitance to jump to conclusions goes whenever the truth would not swing in the Democrats' favor before an election.

Gosh, I really wouldn't know since I've been voting Republican for hmmm... let's see.... [counting on fingers] over 3 decades now.


Posted by: Cass at October 29, 2014 09:06 PM

Your map showing the Midwest says that states asking for help, not that they are the only states affected. As someone on Promed and other medical research groups I know for a fact many more states had outbreaks. In fact, the first outbreak was probably in San Ysedro, California along the border. California not only has outbreaks, but has had deaths. Just because they have not asked CDC for help it does not mean EV-68 dies not exist there.

Posted by: Andre Faucon at July 28, 2015 10:40 PM