Visiting suspended at PWCC's Unit 2

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The Idaho Department of Correction has suspended visiting at the Pocatello Women's Correctional Center after an inmate, who transferred into the facility on October 31, tested positive for active hepatitis A.  As a precautionary measure, IDOC has also suspended all inmate moves into and out of the facility for at least two weeks while health care providers watch for more possible cases. 

Although outbreaks of hepatitis A are relatively uncommon in the United States, public health efforts are required to control the spread of the disease.

About 90 inmates were assigned to the housing unit in which the infected inmate was incarcerated.  Southeastern Idaho Public Health is working with the facility to outline and implement a plan of care. While the risk is low, the inmates and IDOC staff assigned to this unit will receive either a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccine as a precautionary measure. It is important to note, no one is exhibiting any symptoms at this time.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus and can affect anyone. The hepatitis A virus is usually spread by eating or drinking food items that have been contaminated with hepatitis A from someone who has not properly washed their hands after using the bathroom. 

Symptoms usually occur abruptly and may include:

" Fever
" Loss of appetite
" Abdominal discomfort
" Jaundice (yellowing of the skin & eyes)
" Tiredness
" Nausea
" Dark urine

Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation can help prevent Hepatitis A.

Story published: 11/12/2013
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