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Published: Wednesday, 12/18/2002

Prisoners quarantined, jail officers tested for TB

The discovery that an inmate in the Lucas County jail has tuberculosis has resulted in a 48-hour quarantine of more than two dozen inmates who shared living space with him.

At least 10 correction officers were tested for the disease on Monday afternoon when the quarantine began, Rick Keller, the jail's correction administrator, said.

The quarantine means prisoners who stayed in the same jail module area as the infected inmate can't leave the floor for a daily recreation period or receive outside visitors, he said.

The ill inmate has been placed in a negative-pressure cell that has its own air circulation, he said.

Testing is being done as a precaution, Mr. Keller said. “Most people exposed to this do not get TB because their immune systems are strong enough to resist it,” he said.

California health officials notified jail officials in recent days that Onofre Navarro, 36, of Long Beach, Calif., had tested positive for tuberculosis when he was housed in another institution. He was arrested Dec. 6 on the Ohio Turnpike by the Ohio Highway Patrol on a drug trafficking conspiracy charge.

The inmate has not been coughing, a symptom that causes the disease to spread, Mr. Keller said.



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