Central and North America and the Caribbean

Lead poisoning in United States-bound refugee children: Thailand-Burma border, 2009

Background: Elevated blood lead levels lead to permanent neurocognitive sequelae in children. Resettled refugee children in the United States are considered at high risk for elevated blood lead levels, but the prevalence of and risk factors for elevated blood lead levels before resettlement have not been described.

Field evaluation of a simple fluorescence method for detection of viable Mycobacterium tuberculosis in sputum specimens during treatment follow-up

Simple tuberculosis (TB) treatment monitoring tools are needed. We assessed the performance of fluorescein-diacetate (FDA) smear microscopy for detection of viable Mycobacterium tuberculosis in sputum specimens (n = 288) of TB cases under treatment compared to culture (17.4% culture positivity). FDA sensitivity was moderate (83.7% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 70.3 to 92.6]), and specificity was low (66.1% [59.5 to 72.2]).

Notes from the Field: Splenomegaly of Unknown Etiology in Congolese Refugees Applying for Resettlement to the United States - Uganda, 2015

Approximately 70,000-90,000 refugees are resettled to the United States each year, and during the next 5 years, 50,000 Congolese refugees are expected to arrive in the United States. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) performs refugee medical examinations overseas for the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. In 2014, IOM reported that a large number of U.S.-bound Congolese refugees from Uganda had spleens that were enlarged on examination.

Partnerships that Facilitate a Refugee's Journey to Wellbeing

The current global refugee crisis involves 65.3 million persons who have been displaced from their homes or countries of origin. While escaping immediate harm may be their first priority, displaced people go on to face numerous health risks, including trauma and injuries, malnutrition, infectious diseases, exacerbation of existing chronic diseases, and mental health conditions. This crisis highlights the importance of building capacity among health-care providers, scientists, and laboratorians to understand and respond to the health needs of refugees.