An outbreak of mumps (paperas in Spanish) has canceled visits and transfer of prisoners until September 25 at five of Costa Rica’s prisons, the Ministry of Justice reported on Thursday.

Inmates infected are isolated

The affected prisons are: Virilla and La Reforma, in Alajuela; CAI Carlos Luis Fallas, in Pococí; CAI Antonio Bastida de Paz, in Pérez Zeledón and CAI Marcus Garvey, de Limón.

In addition, prison authorities implemented preventive measures, such as the isolation of the sick and their contacts, disinfection of surfaces and the follow-up of vaccination for both staff and prisoners.

According to Dr. Dixiana Alfaro, national head of Health Services of the National Institute of Criminology, the medical areas of the prisons intensified surveillance so that they can detect, treat and isolate patients in case it is required, in addition to immediately and obligatorily inform the Ministry of Health.

So far, 103 inmates have come down with mumps.

Mumps is a viral disease caused by the mumps virus. Initial signs and symptoms often include fever, muscle pain, headache, poor appetite, and feeling generally unwell. This is then usually followed by painful swelling of one or both parotid salivary glands.

Mumps is highly contagious and spreads rapidly among people living in close quarters.

Symptoms are often more severe in adults than in children. About a third of people have mild or no symptoms. Complications may include meningitis (15%), pancreatitis (4%), inflammation of the heart, permanent deafness, and testicular inflammation, which uncommonly results in infertility. Women may develop ovarian swelling, but this does not increase the risk of infertility