The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 22, 2013

Northumberland County inmates contract contagious infection

SUNBURY — Some inmates at Northumberland County Prison have contracted contagious staph infections and MRSA, according to the jailhouse’s medical provider.

PrimeCare Medical Inc., Harrisburg, confirmed cases of staph infections and MRSA at the Sunbury lockup after a recent evaluation of prisoners by medical staff.

“There are people inside the prison receiving treatment for staph infections and MRSA,” Todd Haskins, PrimeCare Medical’s vice president of operations, said Thursday. “We take it seriously and we do everything we can to curb the spread.”

Steve Bridy, Northumberland County commissioner and prison board chairman, would neither confirm nor deny any outbreaks, but said the medical company hired by the county performs spot checks quarterly.

“All of those reports are up to PrimeCare,” Bridy said. “The thing you need to remember is there is MRSA in every jail.”

Haskins agreed.

“Every jail, high school, day care and places like that have MRSA,” Haskins said.

PrimeCare Medical, which services 32 prisons in 29 Pennsylvania counties, prepares inmates in the event of outbreaks, Haskins said.

“We teach prevention and identification to all inmates,” he said. “This is something that is common and happens.”

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a staph germ that is usually resistant to first-line antibiotics, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Commissioner Vinny Clausi said he had not heard about the inmates with MRSA, but did say he had heard there was a situation at the prison on the rise.

“I heard something was going on,” he said. “I don’t know what it is and all questions about this prison should be asked to the chairman.”

MRSA is not listed as a reportable disease in the state Department of Health’s regulations, spokeswoman Holli Senior said Thursday, so the prison health staff would not have been required to report individual cases.

“However, unless the prison usually has cases of MRSA, three cases would meet the definition of an outbreak because it would be an unusual increase in the number of cases of a disease, whether reportable or not,” Senior said.

Those required to report cases must report outbreaks within 24 hours, according to state regulations, she said.

PrimeCare reports what is required, Haskins said.

Text Only
  • xfire20b.jpg Firefighters battle blaze at BJ's in Danville

    DANVILLE — A fire Sunday damaged BJ’s Steak & Rib House, 291 Mill St., and endangered a neighboring shop and apartment building.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Chase leads to jail

    MILTON — Charges were pending Sunday against a man allegedly tied to a rash of recent burglaries in Milton borough who ran from Milton Police on Saturday.

    April 20, 2014

  • Police: 3 steal debit cards, $10G in jewelry for drug trip to NY

    NEW BERLIN — Three Valley teenagers are under investigation for allegedly stealing debit cards and roughly $10,000 in jewelry from three parked vehicles in Union County earlier this month to fund a trip to New York to buy drugs.

    April 20, 2014

  • Valley farmers keep eye out for deadly pig virus

    CAMP HILL — Pork producers across the commonwealth — and in the Valley — are on the alert for a still existing virus that last year killed 12 piglets in Pennsylvania and a million piglets around the country.

    April 20, 2014

  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website ( is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

    April 19, 2014

The Daily Marquee

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.