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Friday, May 17, 2013Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart has ordered isolation within a Division of the Cook County Jail and a portion of Cermak Hospital after an outbreak of lice and scabies.

Five detainees housed in a mental health unit of Cermak Hospital and 10 detainees assigned to a dorm within Division II have been diagnosed with the parasites.

The treatment and eradication of these conditions among the mental health population poses significant challenges. In some instances, detainees who refuse treatment are being restrained in order to have their infestation treated.

The isolation order will remain in place until further notice. Affected detainees have been isolated from the general population to allow for their treatment and to prevent further infestation. Detainees housed in the affected units are also being provided preventative treatment.

The units are being disinfected and detainees are being provided new linens and clothing. Linens are being laundered separately. Staff assigned to the affected units are also being closely monitored.

The isolation order will remain in effect until the infestation is eradicated.

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