Danville Prison Outbreak Not Caused By Virus, Maybe Fungus

September 13, 2013

Federal health officials say an illness at Danville’s prison that affected about a hundred inmates was caused by a fungus called histoplasmosis, not a virus as earlier believed.

Experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are conducting tests at the prison where inmates became sick late last month.

Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer said prison visits are still restricted as the cause of fungus is investigated, but he said there is no reason to move inmates to another facility

“There’s always a chance someone else could develop symptoms, but we’re happy to report that there have been no new cases for a week, and that’s one of the main reasons the quarantine has been lifted," Shaer said. "So, there’s no fear that we’re going to have a flare up of this thing. Again, no new cases in a week, and that’s very, very good news.”

Shaer said public health officials believe the fungus can be inhaled, but he said it is not contagious.

Story source: WILL