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Test confirms another scabies outbreak at Michigan women's prison

Women's prison
Michigan Department of Corrections

Officials say Michigan's only women’s prison has an outbreak of scabies. This is the second reported outbreak in six months. 

The Michigan Department of Corrections says tests confirm three inmates at the Huron Valley Correctional Facility have scabies. Officials say the facility quarantined one housing unit with eighty-three inmates for twenty-four hours.

Chris Gautz is a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections. 

"We want to squelch this as quickly as possible," he said. "And the staff there have done a very good job of immediately identifying the prisoners who ended up testing positive and providing them the medication immediately."

Inmates filed a lawsuit in April over a previous scabies outbreak. They allege officials took more than a year to diagnose and properly treat the earlier outbreak.

Gautz says other prisons have reached out to the Huron Valley prison for guidance on best practices in handling scabies outbreaks.

"Male prisoners tend to hoard their things and are very protective of their property and don't share it with other prisoners, and so I think that's a big reason why you don't see outbreaks of scabies in the male prisons," Gautz said. "The women like to share everything."

Officials hope to contain the mites so they don't spread any further.

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