Are Refugees Healthy?

Those fleeing the Syrian civil war could be carrying pathogens that are rare in the West.

Most of the critical comments in the press—and almost all of the hostile insinuations from our politicians—about the arrival of refugees from the Middle East have focused on the newcomers’ Islamic faith. The persistent question being asked is, “What are the implications of a growth in the numbers of Muslims in our country?” This might be a legitimate concern, but it’s obscuring immediate issues about the health of these refugees. That subject is either ignored or presented in hysterical terms.