Nearly 400 Calif. inmates quarantined after mumps outbreak

The outbreak began last week when an inmate unaware he was infected was brought to the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles


Alene Tchekmedyian
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 400 inmates have been quarantined after a mumps outbreak at Men's Central Jail, authorities said.

The outbreak has infected 18 people in the jail since Oct. 22, when at least one inmate unaware he was infected with the virus was housed at the jail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which runs the lockup. The inmate showed flu-like symptoms and had swollen glands around his neck.

Nearly 400 inmates have been quarantined after a mumps outbreak at Men’s Central Jail, L.A. County sheriff’s officials said. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Nearly 400 inmates have been quarantined after a mumps outbreak at Men’s Central Jail, L.A. County sheriff’s officials said. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Authorities are still investigating the source of the outbreak, which originated on the third floor of the jail in downtown Los Angeles. Inmates on that floor and the second floor are being quarantined. Inmates who are infected with the virus are being housed in the medical ward on 7000 floor.

Since the outbreak, about 350 of the quarantined inmates and 200 jail staff members have been vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella. Three staff members are under medical observation and it's unclear if any are infected.

Through mid-October, there were 2,618 reported mumps infections nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus can be transmitted through physical contact, sharing drinks and utensils, or touching surfaces that have also been touched by someone infected.

While those quarantined can't attend court proceedings, they still can have contact with their attorneys, the Sheriff's Department said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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