Dozens of inmates at Utah prison infected in scabies outbreak

Dozens of inmates at the Utah State Correctional Facility have been quarantined due to a scabies outbreak.

At least 57 people were confirmed to have the condition, as of 22 September, according to a press release from the Utah Department of Corrections. “Reported cases are currently in Green, a dorm-style housing unit where incarcerated individuals receive sex offense or substance abuse treatment,” the release said.

Scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Symptoms are usually intense itching and a skin rash. “Scabies can spread rapidly under crowded conditions where close body contact is frequent,” like prisons or nursing homes, the CDC said.

Glen Mills, the communications director for the state’s Department of Corrections, told that the infection could have spread through laundry.

“Nurses with the Division of Correctional Health Services are providing treatment, including the prescription cream permethrin, to everyone suspected or confirmed to have scabies,” the Utah State Correctional Facility release stated.

Clothes and bedding from those infected or suspected to have been infected will be washed with disinfectant solution, the release added, and other parts of the facility will be cleaned to prevent further spread.

Although visitation previously wasn’t allowed in the Green unit, those restrictions were lifted on Saturday, Mr Mills told the outlet.

“We will continue also, from this point, to provide comprehensive training for our staff as we come off this isolation status to evaluate how this went and if and how we can improve,” he added.