Health Department determines cause of illness at Adams Co. Jail
QUINCY (WGEM) - The Adams County Health Department (ACHD) reported Friday that it had determined the cause of illness at the Adams County Jail.
ACHD has tested samples that went through the Illinois Department of Public Health lab. ACHD determined that the gastrointestinal illness that has been spreading was caused by norovirus.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It can easily be spread through direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water and eating contaminated surfaces, and then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth.
Adams County Sheriff Tony Grootens believes the virus made its way into the inmate’s quarters through the arrival of new inmates. He said only around 30 of their about 120 inmates came down with the virus as their staff acted immediately.
“We’re very attentive to the needs of the inmates. In fact, I would say that the inmates that we have get better healthcare here than they would out in the street because they don’t go to the doctor. They’ll go to the ER sometimes if they have to but we have staff here that can take care of their illnesses,” Grootens said.
To prevent the spread of norovirus, individuals should practice proper hand hygiene, handle and prepare food safely and clean and disinfect surfaces properly.
“So we kept them isolated and then we went cell by cell and the correction officers along with the inmate cleaned his cell or her cell whatever the case was and that seemed to work pretty good and that’s why I think it didn’t spread as fast or as far as it could have,” Grootens said.
ACHD has consulted with the Adams County Jail to advise of proper cleaning and prevention measures to mitigate the situation and stop the spread of the norovirus going forward.
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