The Michigan Department of Correction has announced that a facility-wide scabies outbreak has taken place at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson. The officials have said that the entire prison population is going to be treated for scabies. They have chalked out a plan and ordered enough medicines to treat nearly 1286 prisoners who are housed at the Parnall Correctional Facility. The treatment of these prisoners will start early next week. The spokesperson of the facility, Chris Gautz has said that a scabies outbreak has been reported in one housing unit on 22 January for the first time. Since then, many suspected cases have been found in the prison. He has said that the infection has spread across three units of the prison so far. Therefore, the chief medical officer of the department has decided that the entire prison should be kept on outbreak status. However, the exact number of cases is still unclear. Experts have said that microscopic scabies hideaway inside the skin and lay eggs. It causes severe itchy rashes. Scabies can easily spread in closed spaces where skin-to-skin contact among people exists. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that it can spread via sharing items such as clothes, towels, and bedding.
The officials of the facility have informed prisoners via email that their clothes will be collected and cleaned thoroughly. The majority of their property will be sealed and kept in plastic bags and will be placed in a locker room for an isolation period. Prisoners will be allowed to keep certain items such as their medicines, radio, television, and religious items. As per the report, the first case of scabies at the facility has been reported in the first week of December 2019. Although skin scrapings of the patient have been tested negative, however, the staff has considered it a case of scabies. Nearly seven weeks later, many cases of the disease have been reported across the prison on 22 January. The officials have said that all inmates in the housing unit, who have been identified as the first cases of the disease have been treated. An insider source at the facility has revealed that officials have been ignoring prisoners’ complaints of scabies symptoms in the early weeks of December 2019. Prisoners in the housing unit where the outbreak has taken place have been told their skin issue is a routine rash. As more inmates have developed the symptoms of the disease, they have been told that their rashes might be due to water in the shower. Later, the officials have told prisoners that a laundry detergent might have caused these rashes.
The spokesperson of the facility Chris Gautz has claimed that prisoners in the facility have been dealing with these skin rashes for the last few months. Earlier, the officials have thought that it might be due to some environmental issues such as water, a laundry detergent, or sanitation. Health experts at the facility have tried to analyze these skin rashes but they have not been able to identify the cause. Although they have tried to evaluate and treat those prisoners who have been dealing with the symptoms. Later, this issue has been escalated to the head of the department’s health care division. Experts have claimed that there has been a case of scabies in June 2019 and two suspected cases in March 2019 as well at the Parnall Correctional Facility. In 2019, the officials have treated all inmates at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility for scabies after more than 200 women inmates have complained of itchy and severe skin rashes.