Mich. prison to reopen after scabies treatment

The infestation was confirmed in 39 prisoners at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility

Darcie Moran
The Ann Arbor News, Mich.

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Michigan’s only women’s prison will reopen to visitors on Saturday, Jan. 26 after closing this week for a facility-wide scabies treatment.

The infestation, identified at the end of December, was confirmed in 39 prisoners at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility last week amid a year-long outbreak of rashes at the prison in Pittsfield Township.

The closure kicked off Tuesday, Jan. 22, so the entire population of about 2,000 inmates could receive a first dose of Ivermectin and have their clothing and bedding laundered, Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz previously said. The prison started issuing the first dose last week to the 224 prisoners afflicted with the rash or suspected scabies.

Scabies is a skin infestation caused by the human itch mite, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It causes intense itching and a pimple-like rash.

It was ruled out through skin scrapings and dermatologist evaluations when the rash outbreak was first identified in February and March 2018, Gautz said.

After months of frustration for the prisoners and various theories by the department, a scabies diagnosis was confirmed in December when a dermatologist came to the facility.

It’s still believed some of the rashes are caused by inmates improperly washing their clothing, Gautz previously said.

A second round of Ivermectin is expected to start next Thursday and Friday, with no visiting restrictions, Gautz said in an email Friday.

The two rounds of Ivermectin were estimated to cost $80,000 to $90,000, Gautz and Dr. Carmen McIntyre, chief medical officer for the MDOC, previously said.


©2019 The Ann Arbor News, Mich.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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