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November 1989

Varicella Outbreak in a Women's Prison—Kentucky

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(11):1477-1478. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670230019003

DURING JANUARY and February 1989, three cases of varicella (chickenpox) occurred among inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lexington, Kentucky. This all-women prison is a 1200-bed facility with an onsite hospital. At the time of the outbreak, 1276 inmates were housed in the facility; approximately one fourth were Hispanic (primarily from Central and South America); 36 (3% ) were pregnant. Thirty-two (3%) inmates were seropositive by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (FIA) and Western blot for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, including six persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

The first case of varicella developed on January 8 in a 25-year-old U.S.-born black woman who had been on furlough in New Jersey with her 8-year-old daughter who had chickenpox. The second case occurred on February 1 in a 23-year-old Central American woman; she had given a hair permanent to the first case-patient within 24 hours before the first patient developed a

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