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From: Lucky Lil
To: PRUP ; Prison News Stories ; Prison News Network ; Patrick Crusade ; Families-of-Inmates ; Families of Prisoners ; Council List
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 6:40 PM
Subject: [patrickcrusade] FW: [PNN] CA - Inmate infections spreading, officials warn of public health risk
Inmate infections spreading, officials warn of public health risk
The Associated Press
(Tuesday, January 4, 2005, 12:25 PM)
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A highly contagious staph infection sweeping through county jails, infecting at least 4,000 inmates, is now spreading rapidly in the community and officials warn it's a growing threat to public health.
"We've seen it in hospitals, among sports teams, and physicians
report seeing it to an increasing degree in their practices," Dr. Jonathan
The number of county jail inmates infected with the painful skin infection has gone from about 50 cases a month in 2002 to more than 200 a month. More than 4,000 jail cases have been identified since the outbreak began.
Cases of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus are also increasing in the state prison system.
"It's a pretty common occurrence. What we've found is that a lot of inmates are coming from the county jails into the prisons with MRSA," said Margot Bach, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections.
The antibiotic-resistant strain of staph infection begins
as a skin condition, evolves into sores that resemble insect bites and
In the past three years, the disease has also infected
at least four jailers, as well as a jailer's newborn son. The baby's parents
"We are trying to take every measure we can to identify
it as early as possible and take remedial measures," said sheriff's Correctional
In an attempt to combat the disease, jail officials have
trained deputies, required incoming inmates to watch a video on preventing
About 180,000 inmates cycle through the county's jails each year, with the current population of 17,500 inmates changing an average of every 44 days.
"There is no question people are leaving the jails and
spreading it in the community," Fielding said. "Certainly, there have been
a lot of
Information from: (Los Angeles) Daily News, http://www.dailynews.com