Scabies outbreak quarantines Utah prison inmates, closes area to visitors

Central Utah Correctional Facility. Photo: Utah Department of Corrections

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 22, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Some inmates have been quarantined following a scabies outbreak at the Utah State Correctional Facility that has closed a section of the prison to visitors, officials said.

At least 57 people have confirmed cases of scabies and are being quarantined in the state prison’s Green Unit, a dorm-style housing unit where inmates receive treatment for sex offenses or substance abuse, state officials said.

All visitation to the unit is temporarily closed, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services said Friday in a news release.

“Nurses with the Division of Correctional Health Services are providing treatment, including the prescription cream permethrin, to everyone suspected or confirmed to have scabies. Clothing and bedding from those confirmed or suspected of being infected will be washed with a disinfectant solution and other areas of the state prison will be cleaned to prevent further spread,” the release says.

“Inmates and staff will also receive education about the hygienic steps needed to protect themselves and others from scabies.”

Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash, according to the CDD.

The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. For more information, visit the CDC website.


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