Scabies Invades Orleans Parish Prison!!

UPDATE!! The quarantine at Orleans Parish Prison has been lifted.  Roughly 60 women inmates in a dormitory were quarantined from Wednesday through Friday. The move came after five inmates were found to have been infected with the microscopic mites, which spread quickly in confined spaces like jails.

The majority of female inmates were unable to seek legal aid (both paid and indigent defender) and contact family members since most were quarantined after an outbreak of scabies, a communicable disease of the skin resulting in itchy rashes.

Scabies Outbreak

Scabies Outbreak

Only the women in the mental health unit, as they were already physically separated from the general prison population, escaped quarantine.

This big problem is the latest in a long line of difficulties for Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). The jail is under a federal consent decree for continually disregarding the constitutional rights of the prisoners.

Scabies are introduced to a facility by an individual.  Human itch mites burrow into the upper layer of skin to live and lay eggs. Itching and rashes are common symptoms.  Scabies are spread through direct, prolonged, skin to skin contact with someone who is already infected. Institutions such as nursing homes and jails are often the site of outbreaks.

After a person is infected, it can take up to two months to manifest itself with symptoms.  Someone who was previously infected can show symptoms within a few days. An infected person can spread the mites even if symptoms haven’t observed yet.  In order to kill the mites, only prescription medicine is available. Sheets, towels and clothing must be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer.


Scabies Outbreak 2

Scabies Outbreak 2

It is so small it can hardly be seen with the naked eye. It belongs to the same family as the spider.  Scabies is usually sexually transmitted. However, children often pass it to one another and to adults through everyday contact.

~ by neworleansmusicman on August 17, 2014.

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