How Bad is the Flu in Illinois Prisons?

Posted: January 20, 2013 by lactoselazy in Flu in IL prisons, IDOC, the Responsiblility of the Media
Tags: , , , ,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated on January 7, 2013, that the current flue epidemic in IL is one of the worst in the nation:

Illinois flu outbreak is one of worst in the U.S.

The Illinois Department of Corrections is claiming that despite the present severe overcrowding in IL prisons that “…it has seen few flu cases among prison inmates and employees…” Yet, at the same time, it is encouraging visitors with flu symptoms to stay home and reschedule visits…

Flu Outbreak Not Affecting Prisons

Forgive us for being skeptical. Just about two weeks ago, at least 140  inmates at the Stateville Correctional Center came down with Norovirus infections which began on Christmas :

Norovirus Outbreak Hits Illinois Prison

Stateville Prison Laid Low by Flu-Like Virus

Some inmates were quarantined, and others reported moved to Sheridan. With the current prison overcrowding, it seems unlikely that IDOC inmates are not catching the flu. With media being limited in access to IL prisons, the public has to rely upon the IL Department of Public Health to confirm or deny IDOC’s report of well-being. IDOC is required to report all suspected flu cases to IDPA. IDPA publishes a weekly Influenza Survey Report. It’s flu survey report for the week ending January 12, 2013, cites the occurrence of  32 institutional flu outbreaks; almost a doubling of the 18 institutional flu outbreaks it reported for the week previous. Institutions are described by IDPA as consisting of “nursing home, hospital, prison, school, etc.”

We are getting reports of widespread inmate flu illness at Stateville CC, without preventative flu shots. Hopefully the media will contact the IL Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to factually confirm what IDOC says, and the public does not later find out that the flu among inmates is widespread and not being prevented.

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Comments
  1. M. Hecker says:

    Some inmates think they were poisoned by the meat served for their Christmas dinners. Food poisoning happens more often than IDOC will report. Sanitation in the prison kitchens along with meat defrosted at room temperatures causes widespread illness among inmates. Without testing, who can be sure it was the flu?

    Offering flu vaccinations to inmates and staff alike seems like a simple way to cut down on infectious diseases.

    Like

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