Bay County Jail inmates recovering after meningitis scare

No visitors allowed at the Bay County Jail Monday after a meningitis scare sends the lock-up into lockdown.

â??We didn't accept prisoners. We didn't release prisoners until we knew what we we're dealing with,â?? says Bay County sheriff John Miller.

County health officials say test results show viral meningitis.

â??That's the least problematic. That's the one that people typically respond to much better than if they have bacterial meningitis,â?? says Joel Strasz, a health officer at the Bay County Health Department.

Two inmates and a corrections officer are recovering at Bay Medical Center.

Police say inmates began showing symptoms this weekend.

â??Rapid onset of headache, fever, sometimes vomiting,â?? says Strasz.

One of the inmates being treated was on a jail work detail, helping clean up around the lock-up.

â??Basically it's by contact that you spread this disease,â?? says Miller.

Health officials say viral meningitis is more common and manageable than bacterial meningitis.

Officials are now taking every precaution to prevent future infection.

â??Donâ??t drink out of the sink, no contact with other prisoners,â?? says Miller describing some of the precautions prisoners are taking.

â??Basically good hygienic practices---the same thing you would be doing if you had influenza,â?? says Strasz.

The corrections officer is expected to be released later Monday.

Sheriff Miller says the two inmates should be sent back to the jail by Tuesday.

Meantime, the next scheduled inmate visitation is Wednesday.

Sheriff Miller says he'll have to reevaluate if visitation hours will resume as normal on Wednesday.