Sickness at prison caused by virus

Sickness at prison caused by virus

Update: 10:04 pm, 9/6/13, Friday DANVILLE -- More is now known about an illness which forced a prison into lock-down.
Update: 10:04 pm, 9/6/13, Friday
DANVILLE -- More is now known about an illness which forced a prison into lock-down. Nearly 100 inmates at the Danville Correctional Center were diagnosed with adenovirus. It most commonly affects the respiratory system.

There have been two new cases in the past three days. One housing unit will remain under quarantine and on lock-down for two more weeks.

Original: 6:43 pm, 9/1/13, Sunday
DANVILLE -- Extensive tests at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) lab and other medical facilities determined the outbreak of a flu-like illness at Danville Correctional Center has been caused by a respiratory virus, not influenza. The virus is in the adenovirus class and while, not the flu, causes many similar symptoms.

It usually runs its course over several days but is contagious for up to two weeks or the “shedding period.” Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, mild cough and some chest pains with deep breathing.

The Danville CC health care staff identified very early an outbreak was occurring and appropriate isolation and quarantine techniques were immediately initiated. The quarantine period will be safe and prolonged: two weeks from the last identified case.

There are 1,835 inmates at Danville CC and strictly limiting the number with the virus has been a a focus of staff action. The outbreak is contained in one housing unit and a few affected inmates have been moved to the facility’s infirmary in the Health Care Unit (HCU).

Some of the first cases, discovered Wednesday, are already showing signs of improvement. Eight new cases were diagnosed Saturday and ten Sunday.

A total of 71 inmates are affected. The affected housing unit is on Level 1 lock-down and the rest of the prison is on Level 4 (lightest) lock-down.

The virus is highly contagious, and, as an important precaution, no visitors or volunteers can enter the prison. Also, there is no movement between Danville and other IDOC facilities.

Among many measures ordered by Illinois Department of Corrections, all units have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Use of surgical masks, gloves and other standard precautions are being practiced by the Danville CC medical and security staff.

There is no specific treatment for the adenovirus. Supportive care, while allowing the virus to run its course, is the recommended approach which IDOC is aggressively taking.
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