jail infections | 

TB cases confirmed in two Dublin prisons as inmate and staff member test positive

The cases are unrelated and are thought to be isolated – and therefore the positive tests are not being viewed as an outbreak.
Cloverhill Prison

Cloverhill Prison

Patrick O'Connell

Isolated cases of TB have been confirmed in Cloverhill and Wheatfield Prisons.

The Sunday World has learned one inmate in Wheatfield Prison has tested positive for the disease while a staff member in Cloverhill has also tested positive.

The cases are unrelated and are thought to be isolated – and therefore the positive tests are not being viewed as an outbreak.

In the case of the inmate, a foreign national who had been committed arising from a burglary conviction, he was detected positive as a result of tests carried out during the committal process.

He had minimal interaction with other inmates or staff however contact tracing has been carried out and the HSE notified.

The inmate has since been removed to hospital for treatment.

In the case concerning the female officer, it is understood she was out on sick leave when she notified management of a positive test.

She had no contact whatsoever with the inmate affected.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person.

It mainly affects the lungs, but it can affect any part of the body, including the tummy (abdomen), glands, bones and nervous system.

Instances of Tuberculosis in Irish prisons resulted in the establishment of infection control teams in 2017.

One of the key components in combatting the illness was education with staff and prisoners being regularly briefed on infection control including hygiene techniques and coughing etiquette.

Infection control teams and infection control measures were strengthened in the prison system as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic – and resulted in relatively low numbers of inmates contracting the virus.

In a statement, the Irish Prison Service confirmed it is “working with the Department of Public Health, HSE on two separate cases of TB in different prison settings.

“Screening of close contacts is underway in accordance with the Guidelines for the Control and Prevention of Tuberculosis in Ireland 2010,” the statement said.


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