If you end up in a county jail, chances are you’re not having the greatest of days to begin with. Inmates who found themselves behind the bars of the Bergen County jail in New Jersey got a little more than they bargained for this week when a handful of them came down with the mumps.
The bizarre outbreak has prompted officials to issue a quarantine of the entire facility while doctors try to isolate those who have the infectious virus. Doctors working with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office believe five inmates have been infected thus far but are awaiting test results before issuing an official number.
ABC7 reports that, because of the quarantine order, the jail is not accepting any additional inmates. Should someone end up in cuffs in Bergen County, they’ll be whisked away to nearby Hudson County Jail instead.
None of the jail staff are believed to have been infected, according to the report, and some 1,000 doses of the vaccine that safely prevents measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is being sent to the jail in short order.
The mumps vaccine, as part of the MMR vaccine, is typically received in early childhood. Unfortunately, in recent years some parents have started to ignore decades of incredibly safe and effective medical practice and prevent their children from receiving the vaccine. Measles outbreaks on both coasts have led health officials to consider mandates regarding vaccinations.
It’s unclear exactly how mumps took root in the Bergen County Jail, and there’s no official word on how long the facility will be quarantined, but being stuck in jail with an infectious virus sounds like the start of a very watchable Netflix zombie movie.