May 24, 2024

Gastrointestinal Illness Outbreak at Cook County Jail

Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there is an outbreak of “gastrointestinal illness” at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported the outbreak.

county jailIllnesses are resolving in about 24 hours, and no inmates have required hospitalization. The IDPH is working with CDPH and Cermak Health Services of Cook County on infection control measures and specimen testing. The quarantine order was issued by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Visitation is not allowed under quarantine rules, and all of the living, dining, bathroom, and “high touch” surface areas are being disinfected.

In addition, Division II staff are being monitored to try to contain the spread of the illness. Nearly 700 inmates are affected by this quarantine. Division II is minimum security. Those inmates usually work in the kitchen and help transport meals to other inmates, complicating operations.

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