DENVER (KDVR) — Cases of chickenpox are being reported among children in the migrant community living in Denver.
Some families said they are being quarantined when children develop the virus.
The city said it is following health protocols to keep the illness from spreading in the already vulnerable population.
One family spoke with FOX31 about their experience dealing with chickenpox in the migrant shelters.
“My plan is to somehow get a tent where me, my wife and our two children can live,” the father said.
The parents have two teenagers, one of them was infected with chickenpox recently.
“My goal is to find work so we have the means to take care of ourselves, if and when we get sick again,” the father said. “I have a work permit to start working legally, and employers ask for that.”
That obstacle has plagued many migrant families, even more so now that some are catching viruses.
“My son was faint and weak and he wasn’t eating,” the father said.
He said his son was running a fever while infected with chickenpox.
“I thank God my son is feeling much better and his health has improved,” the father said.
The wife said she treated her son herself, but was told by city employees that he had to quarantined.
“We have no money or any way to pay for treatment,” the mother said.
The City of Denver told FOX31 that there is a nurse line from Denver Health that provides health services at no cost to the families.
Denver Health elaborated on their treatment of the migrants saying they have diagnosed some cases of chickenpox among children. The health care provider is working with the city to begin immunizing folks in the migrant population.
“If we had some way to find employment, we would have the ability to earn their own keep,” the mother said.
Cold weather is a looming threat for these families, as many don’t have another plan once they time out of the shelter system.
“We are afraid of the cold nights in Denver because the temperature falls, but our greatest fear is when snow starts falling in the city,” the mother said.
The city said all migrants receive health screenings when they first arrive and care for any health issues is coordinated.
There are plans to expand the health services provided to them, but no further details were provided.