FORT PAYNE, AL (WAFF) - State public health officials warn there are 17 cases of hepatitis A in Jackson and DeKalb counties. Two of those cases were in the DeKalb County Jail.
Sheriff Nick Welden received one surprise when he had to take office early on Jan. 1. He received the second surprise the moment he took office.
“We walked in the door and 12:01 a.m. We immediately had to find out how it was contained, where it was at, who had it?” said Welden.
Welden was welcomed to his new job with information that an inmate in the DeKalb Couny Jail had hepatitis A.
Welden says a professional cleaning crew was called in to sterilize the jail. Blood was taken from 34 people and it was determined a second person had it. At that point, Sheriff Welden says they had all inmates vaccinated as well as the sheriff’s office staff. Since that time, Welden says they’re continuing to monitor the situation.
“We’ve done some follow-ups. We’ve had the doctor here almost every day and the nurse is here working. But we basically quarantined the area and cleared it of the virus. We’re good to go now. It’s just what we walked into that tough,” said Welden.
Welden at this point in time believes they have the virus contained.