Hepatitis A Confirmed In 2 Cases In Arizona Prisons

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 9:44pm
Updated: Friday, May 31, 2019 - 8:56am
Arizona Department of Corrections
Arizona Department of Corrections building in Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) has confirmed two cases of hepatitis A in inmates in state prisons. 

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus, and is normally transmitted from person to person or through contaminated food or water. Symptoms range from nausea and joint pain to yellowing of the skin.

Spokesman Andrew Wilder says both inmates were admitted to ADC in May.

"There are two inmates who have recently been diagnosed with active hepatitis A infections, one at the state prison in Florence, and one at the Perryville women’s prison," he said. 

Wilder says ADC's health care contractor, Corizon Health notified the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHA) and local health authorities about the Florence case.

The Perryville inmate notification came from DHS to ADC and Corizon, "due to her testing being conducted by another entity prior to ADC admission," Wilder said. "By the time her results were known, she had been transferred into state custody."

"In both cases, the inmates are medically restricted from the main population until they are cleared by medical personnel," Wilder said. "Corizon is providing vaccinations to those who had close contact with the affected cases, food workers, and others identified as having an increased risk of exposure to the virus."

Family members of inmates who contacted KJZZ about a possible outbreak reported limited visitation hours at the Florence prison. 

Wilder said ADC will continue to monitor inmates "for any signs or symptoms that could indicate additional cases of infection.

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