DOC taking steps after mumps 'outbreak'
Since the beginning of the year, the Alaska Department of Corrections reports that 12 inmates have contracted mumps.
DOC spokesperson Megan Edge says they are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after four inmates contracted mumps at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel.
"Mumps is not deadly, but this does not mean we can ignore it. While the CDC reports no deaths during the current nationwide outbreaks, some people with mumps develop uncomfortable symptoms and, in rare cases, meningitis, DOC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lawrence said. "The Department of Corrections has implemented a response to prevent the spread and to ensure individuals who develop symptoms receive proper care."
In March and April, four inmates begin showing mumps symptoms, Edge says, and lab samples were sent off to the CDC confirmation; all four cases were confirmed. In May, an additional four inmates displayed mumps symptoms; they are being treated while DOC awaits their lab results.
In the first two months of the year, another four inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center had confirmed Mumps cases.
In an effort to get ahead of a possible outbreak, the DOC is vaccinating all YKCC employees, current inmates and incoming inmates over the next 50 days.
Mumps symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen and tender salivary glands under a person's ear.
Recently, Alaska was hit with an outbreak of mumps cases, with more than 100 confirmed cases.
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