DepCor looking into detainee with tuberculosis - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DepCor looking into detainee with tuberculosis

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - The Department of Corrections has launched an investigation to determine close contacts of a pre-trial detainee confirmed to have active tuberculosis.   

"CDC along with the coordination of Public Health the Director's Office the Internal Affairs Division and the medical staff are now assessing that we do have one TB case in the facility," said DepCor spokesperson Jeff Limo. He said it's likely the entire Mangilao DepCor population of 593 and its staff of 178 will need to be screened for tuberculosis - a disease spread through the air from one person to another. "That's why the director has launched an investigation on the matter so we can get time frames of when he came in, who was he in contact with," he said.

Although all detainees are required to undergo medical assessments prior to entering the detention facility, limo says it remains unknown whether the individual was a longtime carrier or contracted the disease from someone else while under DepCor's watch.

Limo confirms the individual was a pre-trial detainee housed in Posts 25 or 29. "Pre-trial have their own housing units. They're not mixed with the general population of sentenced inmates. So there's several housing units that this individual was housed at so we want to find out days and break down frame by frame where he was housed at 0450 he may have caught it here from someone else or he was a carrier a long time ago," he said.

Although he estimates the individual could've been in the company of up to 65 others also awaiting trial, Limo says facilities don't necessarily foster the environment necessary to spread TB. "Most of these facilities up here have proper ventilation in order to endure this TB you have to be in a real tight area for X amount of hours. We gotta make sure that the individual if in fact was there, who he was there with and what personnel were at the time," he said.

The individual was admitted to the Guam Memorial Hospital on March 24th and remains under the supervision of one corrections officer.

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