Mumps outbreak suspected in North Jersey jail as 5 prisoners fall ill


Officials said Tuesday that test results were pending to confirm five suspected mumps cases among prisoners in Bergen County Prison, leading to the closure of the facility.

"The New Jersey Department of Health is aware of five suspected mumps cases at this Bergen County facility," said State Department of Health spokeswoman Dawn Thomas . "The department is working with the local health departments of Bergen County on this ongoing investigation."

At the press conference, the curious Anthony Cureton, sheriff of Bergen County, has admitted no other inmate or detainee from immigration. The authorities worked with the courts and other prisons to temporarily house detainees. Visits were allowed, but without direct contact with the detainees.

"Right now, our prison is in a complete lockdown position," said the sheriff. "He is quarantined."

All suspected cases were part of the general population of the facility, according to county executive James Tedesco.

"Mumps outbreaks are not uncommon in correctional facilities," Tedesco said.

Meanwhile, officials have ordered 1000 doses of MMR vaccine to prison staff and detainees.

According to Derek Sands, chief of staff at the Bergen County Sheriff's Office, who manages the Hackensack premises, the cases were "clinically diagnosed" cases among the prison's prison population.

"Although the cases have been diagnosed clinically, the tests have not been confirmed yet," Sands said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps symptoms may include swollen cheeks and a swollen and sensitive jaw, as well as fever and headaches. The disease is spread by direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets.

According to CDC reports, about 1,000 people were infected with the disease from 1 January to 24 May.

In addition to detaining people involved in criminal cases, the 1,150-bed facility also houses inmates for federal officials responsible for immigration and customs.

Noah Cohen can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @noahyc. Find on Facebook.

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