Immigrant detainee at California federal prison confirmed to have chicken pox

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VICTORVILLE, Cali. – Could an outbreak of chicken pox be threatening this federal prison in California?

Well, an undocumented immigrant detainee sent here has been confirmed to have chicken pox.

And for adults, chicken pox can become serious— even deadly in some cases.

“We wanna make sure they get the adequate medical care they need,” Prison Workers’ Union Vice President Jon Zumkehr said.

The CDC warns chicken pox can spread through touching or breathing in virus particles, so the infected detainee has been isolated.

But it’s unclear how many other detainees may have been exposed to the highly contagious disease.

“It can possibly spread and get worse, and we wanna minimize that at all costs,” Zumkehr added.

Officals said the infected detainee is one of about 1,000 illegal immigrants transferred to the federal correctional facility.

A federal prison normally does not hold immigrant detainees, but it’s happening thanks to a Prison Bureau agreement earlier this month.

However, officials complain the medical staff is overwhelmed at this facility with such a large influx of immigrant detainees.

“We were already stretched super thin before, and now we weren’t ready for this mission,” Zumkehr revealed.

Already this prison has a problem with some detainees being diagnosed with ‘scabies,’ and so all those infected are being held separately from the general population.

“We’re filing a complaint that no notice was sent out that someone had scabies,” Zumkehr commented.

Now chicken pox could pose an even greater health threat to prison workers and detainees— that’s something officials hope to get a handle on fast!



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