Michelle Malkin has an update on a TB outbreak among workers at a chicken plant in Greenville, South Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reports that many of the plant’s workers “come from other countries,” and it’s a fair bet that many are illegal aliens.

We first reported on the TB epidemic among illegals almost three weeks ago, citing a National Review article that appeared in 2001. As NR noted at the time:

In the United States, the incidence of TB is prevalent among immigrants. About 41 percent of the 18,361 known tuberculosis cases in 1998 were immigrants; in 1986, 22 percent of new U.S. TB cases were immigrants. The foreign-born incidence of TB in the United States approaches six times that of the native-born. CDC figures show that during the period from 1993 through 1998, the native-born had 5.8 cases of TB per 100,000, while the foreign-born rate was 32.9.

TB is especially prevalent in Mexicans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indians, Chinese, Haitians, and Koreans. Mexican immigrants have an infection rate of 35.5 cases per 100,000, far above the native-born rate. Yet, Vietnamese have an infection rate of 137.7; Haitians, 118.5; and Filipinos, 95.9. Immigrants from many Third World countries carry TB, including those from the Dominican Republic and Ecuador, and even Puerto Rico.

Remember: those figures are from six years ago and the problem has only grown worse since then, thanks to our wide-open borders and non-existent enforcement of immigration laws. Kudos to Ms. Malkin for highlighting this critical health, safety and national security issue. As you can see, problem is hardly new–and we’re no closer to fixing it than we were in 2001.