LOS ANGELES – Eighteen inmates at the Men’s Central Jail have been diagnosed with mumps, prompting the quarantine of 390 prisoners, authorities said Thursday.
“The observation and monitoring of symptoms began … Oct. 22 … when at least one inmate, unknowingly infected with the mumps virus, was housed at (the) Men’s Central Jail,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“While housed, they exhibited signs of illness, displayed symptoms similar to influenza and had swollen glands around their neck. Correctional Health Services staff diagnosed these symptoms as the mumps.”
The inmates who had tested positive for mumps were being housed in the jail’s medical ward, authorities said.
The rest of those quarantined were being monitored for symptoms, and 350 of them have been given the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, as have more than 200 sworn and civilian staff members assigned to the jail at 441 Bauchet St. near downtown Los Angeles, according to the sheriff’s department.
Three sheriff’s department members are under medical observation, officials said.
The outbreak will affect inmate visiting though next Thursday but will have no impact on scheduled releases, officials said.
“Sheriff’s personnel are working with the Superior Court of California-County of Los Angeles to minimize the impact on court proceedings for those who were quarantined,” according to the sheriff’s department. “Inmates still have access to contact their attorneys.”
The sheriff’s department, Correctional Health Services, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have been investigating if there are other possible cases among inmates or staff.
Sworn and civilian staff working with inmates at the jail have been provided “protective facial masks which cover the nose and mouth.”
“Inmates in the affected areas were also provided with masks,” according to the sheriff’s department.
Inmates who had been in quarantined housing areas of the jail will be monitored prior to and after release, officials said.
Those who want to know if a particular inmate is housed in a quarantined area can go to lasd.org to schedule a visit.
“If a pop-up message is displayed that your loved one is in an affected area, he/she is under observation (quarantine) until Thursday…,” officials said. “Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the quarantined areas should be back normal operations on December 1, 2019.”