Crow Wing County: Jail suspends visitation after salmonella, hepatitis cases
Visitation is suspended at the Crow Wing County Jail as the sheriff’s office reported cases of salmonella and hepatitis A among inmates.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the county’s jail division was notified of a possible outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness. One inmate tested positive for salmonella, while other inmates and staff reported intestinal illnesses. As of Wednesday evening, the source of the bacteria was not yet determined, the sheriff’s office reported. The Minnesota Department of Health is on site working with jail staff, medical services staff and food service staff to identify potential causes. A professional cleaning company was brought in to clean and sanitize the jail.
While the investigation is ongoing, jail officials are suspending visitation and limiting inmate movement and interactions.
Symptoms of salmonella usually begin 12-96 hours after exposure to the bacteria and include diarrhea, stomach cramping and fever. Salmonella can be found in water, food, soil and surfaces that have been contaminated with feces of infected humans or animals.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, the jail division was notified that one inmate tested positive for hepatitis A. At this time, the source of the virus has not been determined. Jail medical services staff, along with Crow Wing County public health officials and GuidePoint Pharmacy of Brainerd have been vaccinating inmates and employees who were potentially exposed to the virus to prevent additional infections. Jail medical services staff are monitoring inmates for symptoms to identify any additional cases.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection of the liver by the hepatitis A virus, according to the Mayo Clinic, adding people are most likely to get it from contaminated food or water or close contact with someone already infected. Most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage, the Mayo Clinic stated on its website. Symptoms usually begin two to seven weeks after exposure.
“We are committed to the safety of all and are thankful to our health partners for their work on these issues,” the sheriff’s office news release stated.