Illness spread slows at SBWCC

Exterior SBWCC
South Boise Women's Correctional Center

South Boise Women’s Correctional Center staff are hopeful they have the upper hand on what appears to be the spread of norovirus among inmates at the facility.

Norovirus is a common illness that is sometimes referred to as "food poisoning, "stomach flu" or “cruise-ship flu.” Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. 

While the inmates’ symptoms are wholly consistent with norovirus, the cause of the sickness cannot be officially confirmed until lab tests are completed later this week.

The first report of a possible case of norovirus at SBWCC was on Tuesday, April 1. Since then, 34 offenders have had confirmed, active symptoms. Another 18 offenders have reported some nausea but no other active symptoms. 

There has only been 1 new case reported since Monday suggesting the spread of the illness has slowed.

SBWCC staff have taken a variety of measures to prevent more inmates from being exposed to the highly contagious virus. Staff and inmates have been using bleach to disinfect the facility, and the movement of people in and out of the facility has been limited. On Friday SBWCC’s weekend visitation sessions and religious services were canceled. 

Staff are distributing a sports drink to sick inmates to help keep them hydrated.

SBWCC is a 284-bed treatment and transition facility for minimum-security, female offenders. It is located in the South Boise Correctional Complex.

Story published: 04/08/2014
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