Quarantine in effect in Calif. jail during suspected mumps outbreak

Several inmates are being tested for the mumps virus; quarantine expected to last at least the week

Jim Guy
Fresno Bee

FRESNO, Calif. — Some Fresno County Jail inmates are being tested for the mumps virus and many others have been placed under quarantine, the sheriff’s office reported Monday evening.

The issue came to light when many inmates missed scheduled Monday court appearances because of the quarantine. Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said that the quarantine started Friday and will continue to the end of this week.

In a release Monday evening, Botti said an inmate may have contracted the mumps virus and the jail’s medical provider, Wellpath, was testing several inmates for the virus, but results had not been returned.

Several inmates have reported symptoms similar to those associated with the mumps virus, Botti said.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the development of the disease, which generally starts with a fever, has been curtailed because of the development of a vaccine. However, mumps can still spread among a group confined in a small area. Even those vaccinated can develop the disease, but symptoms are generally more mild.

As a preventative measure, jail officials placed several pods in the North Jail under quarantine and immunizations are being offered to inmates and jail staff as they become available, Botti said.

Late last year, mumps outbreaks were found at four California prisons. Botti said in light of that, local jail staffers recently received training in spotting symptoms among inmates.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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