UPDATE: Authorities confirm 11 mumps cases in Fresno County Jail after hundreds quarantined

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Friday, January 31, 2020
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County public health officials started testing inmates Friday and expect to get results as soon as Tuesday.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno County Department of Public Health has announced that they have 11 confirmed mumps cases in the Fresno County Jail.

More than 300 inmates are quarantined within six pods in the north annex jail.

They won't specify the affected pods, only that the pods are on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floor.

The isolated inmates will not be going to court until the quarantine is lifted.

Visitation for the quarantines inmates is being limited to one visit a week.

Inmates trained in Osha regulations are cleaning affected pods, and vaccines are being offered to both inmates and jail staff.

"We have gone around and offered vaccines to four of those pods. about 122 inmates have taken the vaccine, some have refused. We'll be continuing vaccines in the other two pods tomorrow morning," said Fresno County Jail division Captain Stephen McComas.

Sheriff's officials say inmates who have recently been released could be infected, and they along with their relatives should monitor their symptoms.

Original story follows.


Hundreds of people in the Fresno County jail are under quarantine because of a feared outbreak of the mumps.

Fear is spreading on the fourth and fifth floors of the Fresno County North Jail, but nobody has violence or legal troubles on their minds. The mumps are on everyone's lips.

We talked to the mother of an inmate who's on the fifth floor in quarantine. He told his mom he saw health officials in hazmat suits on Friday doing testing. He's worried he might be contagious. She's worried she might've been exposed.

No cases are confirmed yet, but the mumps is an extremely contagious viral disease which causes swelling around your salivary glands. It spreads through coughing, sneezing, or direct contact, but symptoms take a while to develop so people can spread it before their glands swell up.

Health officials strongly suspect one case in the jail, but about a dozen people are showing concerning symptoms -- like fever, fatigue, headache and respiratory trouble.

"Because of symptoms, we've told the staff over there at the jail to isolate the inmates as much as possible," said Fresno County assistant public health director David Luchini.

The sheriff's office has quarantined more than 200 inmates -- no visits, no going outside, and lots of empty courtrooms.

County public health officials started testing inmates Friday and expect to get results as soon as Tuesday.

The state prison system announced an outbreak affecting several prisons in December and as of Monday, they have more than 40 suspected cases with testing confirming 11 of them, including some in the Central Valley.

A quarantine at Wasco State Prison is still affecting the visiting schedule there, where they have 33 suspected cases and seven confirmed.

Fresno County public health officials say the best defense is the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination.

A single dose is 77% effective at preventing mumps. The usual double dose is 87% effective, but the virus still sneaks through sometimes.

"So you've seen that in some cases," said Luchini. "You've seen - not only in the prisons and some of the jails in California, but even nationwide if you go online you'll probably see there are some college campuses that had to deal with mumps. And a lot of those students were vaccinated."

State prisons and the Fresno County jail are offering vaccinations for inmates and staff members.

The sheriff's office hopes to contain any outbreak and get the jail back to normal soon.