A man among a group of migrants detained in a desolate part of New Mexico near the border with Mexico has been diagnosed as infected with flesh-eating bacteria, the U.S. Border Patrol said Friday.
The man was taken to a hospital in recent days after telling a federal agent that he had a growing rash on his leg, U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Carlos Antunez said.
Flesh-eating bacteria are a rare condition called necrotizing fasciitis that spreads quickly and can be fatal. The bacteria usually gets into the body through a minor cut or scrape and can cause a serious infection that can destroy muscle, skin and other tissue.
A statement from border patrol officials said the unidentified migrant will require extensive medical treatment. Antunez said he could not provide more details or the man’s condition.
Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the infected area. It’s rare for the infection to spread to other people.
The man was detained near the small city of Lordsburg. His home country was not disclosed.
Another 300 migrants, mostly Central Americans, were detained Thursday south of Lordsburg near an official U.S.-Mexico border crossing, Antunez said. Some had illnesses and injuries and were taken to hospitals for treatment.
The sparsely populated, desert area has experienced a significant influx of large migrant groups recently.
Nearly 10,000 migrants have been detained at New Mexico’s three Border Patrol stations since Oct. 1, officials said.
There were 12,800 detentions at the three stations from October 2017 through September 2018.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the day the migrants were detained.