Health Ministry and Prison Service battling Chickenpox outbreak at Lusignan jail

Health Ministry and Prison Service battling Chickenpox outbreak at Lusignan jail

The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of the Chickenpox at the Lusignan Prison, and has indicated that it is working closely with the Prison Service to address the situation.

In a statement, the Health Ministry assured prisoners, their families and staff members at the Prison, that all precautions and all necessary actions are being taken to ensure no further spread of chickenpox occurs at the Lusignan prison.

The Ministry said the outbreak has affected 53 prisoners and it is suspected that the spread of the infection was started by a prisoner, staff member or a visitor.

According to the Ministry, the medical and surveillance teams are presently conducting contact tracing to identify the source of the infection.  

It explained that from the earliest complaints by prisoners about unusual itching, screening was conducted by the medical team assigned to the Lusignan Prisons, and once the first cases were confirmed, care was taken to separate the affected prisoners from the prisoners with  no symptoms. 

Those who were diagnosed with chickenpox were treated with various medications, while other prisoners and staff members not affected were vaccinated.

The Ministry of Health said its medical team will continue to monitor the situation and ensure that the outbreak is halted, noting that the outbreak appears to be under control at the moment, but measures have been taken also to evaluate staff who might have been exposed.

The issue about the outbreak was first raised by the Opposition APNU+AFC, with a call for urgent action to be taken to address the outbreak.

The Health Ministry has denied that the matter was not being taken seriously.   

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