Contagious skin infestation leads to quarantine of 26 inmates
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Alabama Department of Corrections officials have confirmed that the medical staff at Holman Correctional Facility is currently treating more than two dozen inmates who have been quarantined after being diagnosed with scabies, a highly contagious skin infestation caused by microscopic mites.
Officials said the inmates began experiencing symptoms of the medical malady — including an itchy, red rash — over the past weekend.
“The Alabama Department of Corrections medical staff is treating 26 inmates who have been diagnosed with scabies at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore,” said DOC spokesman Bob Horton in a press release. “The inmates began showing symptoms on Saturday (August 10) that led to the diagnosis that is caused by a microscopic mite.”
According to Healthline.com, the condition can easily be passed from one person to another through direct skin contact. The mites can reportedly live under a person’s skin for months before the subcutaneous laying of eggs begins to manifest itself through the rash.
The infestation of mites may also be transmitted through clothing or bedding in which the mites have established residence. Scabies is not a sexually transmitted medical condition, and intimate contact isn’t necessary for the development, according to the Healthline website.
Scabies can usually be effectively eliminated through treatment consisting of medications that kill scabies mites and their eggs.
Horton said prison doctors and nurses are working with Alabama Department of Public Health officials to contain the outbreak.
“The ADOC Health Services Division is working closely with the Alabama Department of Public Health in treating the inmates with medications that will relieve symptoms and eliminate the infection,” the DOC spokesman said. “Medical staff have quarantined the inmates during treatment as a preventive measure and to reduce the risk of others becoming infected.”