MRSA confirmed at correctional center

Published 9:26 am Thursday, September 26, 2019

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A woman said there has been a MRSA outbreak at Lunenburg Correctional Center and her son was affected by it.

Cheryl Watson said her son, Duane Watson, is incarcerated at the Lunenburg prison and there is a problem with MRSA at the facility.

The Dispatch reached out to the Virginia Department of Corrections for comment.

Lisa E. Kinney, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Corrections, acknowledged that Lunenberg had six confirmed cases this summer — one in June, four in July, and one in August. “

The facility worked with the health authority to address,” she said.

Otherwise, Kinney noted that medical records are confidential, so she could not comment on a specific inmate’s case.

According to WebMD medical website, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. “It’s tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus — or staph — because it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics,” the site said.

Watson said her son is set to get out in 10 months and was moved to Lunenburg’s transitional pod. In May, he had his first case of MRSA, she said. In June, he had it again, she said.

She said her son has been in prison for 23 years, the last six in Lunenburg.

Watson said her son recently had surgery and is back in his pod. According to Watson, the doctor at the facility said MRSA wasn’t her son’s problem, but when he got to the hospital in South Hill the doctor there said it was. Watson said there are several inmates in the pod with her son that have MRSA. She said the clothes the inmates wear are not sanitized but just regular washed. She also said that a “safety inspector” cleared the building but she has real concerns about that.

Watson said she is worried about her son making it home.

She said he had an open 3 x 3-inch wound and the bandage recently fell off.

Watson said her son notified the guards and was told he would have to wait. She further stated he held his hand over the open wound for over an hour trying to make sure no germs got in. Watson said he has another bump and she worries that might be MRSA.

The symptoms of MRSA depend on where you’re infected, most often causing mild infections on the skin, like sores, boils or abscesses, WebMD said. But, the site adds, “it can also cause more serious skin infections or infect surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs or the urinary tract.”

“Though most MRSA infections aren’t serious, some can be life-threatening. Many public health experts are alarmed by the spread of tough strains of MRSA. Because it’s hard to treat, MRSA is sometimes called a ‘super bug.’”