Disease outbreak under investigation at south Alabama prison

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), in cooperation with the Alabama Department of...
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Corrections, is investigating a pneumococcal disease outbreak at the Ventress Correctional Facility in Barbour County.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Sep. 28, 2018 at 4:58 PM CDT
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BARBOUR COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - An investigation is underway into a pneumococcal disease outbreak at the Ventress Correctional Facility in Barbour County, state health officials confirmed Friday.

Three inmates were hospitalized with infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Two of the inmates developed meningitis, and one of the inmates with meningitis died.

The Alabama Department of Corrections will provide antibiotics to inmates and staff who have had close contact with or shared personal items with inmates who have pneumococcal disease and to those who have a fever or flu-like illness.

ADPH has requested assistance from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure rapid response and technical assistance during the investigation. ADPH has also ordered vaccines from the CDC.

Alabama Department of Corrections will administer PPV23 vaccine to those who have not been vaccinated previously and have been in close contact with inmates within the past week to help protect others from getting pneumococcal disease during this outbreak.

Streptococcus pneumoniae causes bacterial infections ranging from ear infections and sinusitis, to more severe types of illnesses, like pneumonia (lung infection), bloodstream infection and meningitis, the state health department said.

The bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease spread person-to-person by direct contact with respiratory droplets, like saliva or mucus.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.