TB outbreak found at county jail

Published 5:46 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Federal inmate who was held at the Pearl River County jail in the month of June is suspected to have prompted the spread of Tuberculosis in the facility.

Major Aaron Russell with the Pearl River County Sherrif’s Department said federal inmates are tested upon arrival at the jail for the disease, but that inmate’s special situation gave a false negative. Initial tests of the inmate for the deadly disease came back negative due to the inmate testing positive for AIDS, said Major Aaron Russell.

The inmate was brought to the jail on or about June 5, of this year, and after becoming ill, was taken to the hospital on June 13, Russell said. Due to the inmate’s contact with prisoners and staff at the jail, Russell said about 80 people have tested positive during the initial stage of skin testing for the disease and are moving on to the second stage, which involves a chest x-ray. The Mississippi Health Department is handling the testing.

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More information should be released later in the week, Russell said. Russell said he was notified of the situation at the jail Friday.

Anyone who was held in the Pearl River County jail between June 5, and June 13, and have since been released should report to the Health Department for testing, Russell said.