A jailhouse tuberculosis outbreak had one judge wearing a surgical mask on the bench and two others barring infected inmates from court.
The furor began two weeks ago when Kane County Sheriff Ken Ramsey said that one inmate has been held in isolation since contracting the airborne disease. Though more than a dozen inmates and five of the county jail’s 60 security officers have tested positive for exposure, that doesn’t mean they are infected or contagious, said Dr. Dean Schraufnagel, a TB specialist with the American Lung Association.
“The body’s defenses are very good at controlling the disease,” he said.
Still, court officials ordered Ramsey to disclose the names of the exposed and infected prisoners. He refused, citing a state privacy law, and faces contempt charges when he appears in court Nov. 9.