The outbreak reportedly happened in a section of the prison known as the Green Unit, a dorm-style housing unit. Those incarcerated in the Green Unit reportedly receive sex offense or substance abuse treatment.
Officials said at least 57 people have been confirmed to have scabies — a highly contagious, itchy skin condition caused by a tiny, burrowing mite.
More specifically, scabies is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite.” The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs, according to the CDC.
The most common symptoms of scabies are reportedly intense itching and a “pimple-like skin rash.” Officials said the condition is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.
“Scabies can spread rapidly under crowded conditions where close body and skin contact is frequent,” the CDC states. “Institutions such as nursing homes, extended-care facilities, and prisons are often sites of scabies outbreaks.”
Nurses with the Division of Correctional Health Services are reportedly treating cases, and suspected cases, at the prison at this time. Officials said the treatment includes the prescription cream permethrin, and that clothing and bedding from those confirmed or suspected of being infected will be washed with a disinfectant solution.
Officials also said that other areas of the prison will be cleaned to prevent further spread. “Inmates and staff will also receive education about the hygienic steps needed to protect themselves and others from scabies,” the release states.
For more information on scabies, visit the CDC’s fact sheet here.