Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Several of my clients have informed me that there is a scabies problem running rampant at the Madison County Jail.
My clients inform me that the jail staff doesn’t care and is ignoring complaints from prisoners. One client complained so much he was threatened, but he was eventually taken to the jail infirmary where he was given an anti-itch cream.
I reported this to the Huntsville Times and their reporter informs me the story went nowhere because the jail administrator’s response to their inquiry was: “I’ve heard that too, but I can’t confirm or deny it.”
What the hell kind of response is that?
Scabies (from Latin: scabere, "to scratch"), is a contagious skin infection caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite is a tiny, and usually not directly visible, parasite which burrows under the host's skin, which in most people causes an intense itching sensation caused by an allergic response. The infection in animals other than humans is caused by a different but related mite species, and is called sarcoptic mange.
Scabies is classified by the World Health Organization as a water-related disease.
Scabies is contagious and can be spread by scratching an infected area, thereby picking up the mites under the fingernails, or through physical contact with a scabies-infected person for a prolonged period of time. Scabies is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread through contact with other objects, such as clothing, bedding, furniture, or surfaces with which a person infected with scabies might have come in contact. Scabies mites can survive without a human host for 24 to 36 hours. As with lice, scabies can be transmitted through sexual intercourse even if a latex condom is used, because it is transmitted from skin-to-skin at sites other than sex organs.
The Madison County Jail needs to admit the problem exists and then do something about it. Merely because people are in jail doesn’t mean they should be condemned to living in disease-ridden conditions and both state and federal law require jails to keep their prisoners healthy.
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