Department Of Health Services Investigating Salmonella Outbreak At Women’s Prison

Published: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 6:21pm
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 6:24pm

The Arizona Department of Health Services is investigating a suspected salmonella outbreak at the state women’s prison.

DHS says it is working with the Department of Corrections to investigate a suspected salmonella outbreak at the Perryville prison in Goodyear.

A DHS spokesman said five cases of salmonella have been identified, and the agency is working to prevent further spread of the disease.

Salmonella is a bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. It can result in fever, diarrhea and cramping. The CDC says food is the source for a majority of cases in the United States.

Mitzi Pohl has a loved one incarcerated at Perryville. She said that when she visited the prison on Sept. 12, several women told her they had been diagnosed with salmonella and were receiving treatment.

“When they were issued the antibiotics, they were told not to talk about it,” Pohl said. She believes there are many more women who have the disease.

“They told me they had been throwing up, suffering from diarrhea, and they didn’t feel like anyone was taking the outbreak seriously,” Pohl said.

DHS says it has tested 69 environmental samples at the prison but all have come up negative for the disease. The spokesman said no additional details would be released until the investigation is complete.

The Arizona Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This story will be updated.

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