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Chickenpox Outbreak Locks Down San Quentin

SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) - San Quentin State Prison is on a medical lockdown following an outbreak of chickenpox, according to published reports.

San Quentin News and San Rafael Patch report that all programs at the Marin County facility were canceled last weekend and no visitors were being allowed to enter the Marin County prison as medical staff attempted to determine how many inmates had contracted the virus, characterized by itchy skin irritation and blisters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, complications adults can experience as a result of chicken pox, also known as varicella, include dehydration, pneumonia, blood, bone and joint infections as well as inflammation of the brain. Deaths associated to chicken pox are rare, but not unheard of, according to the CDC.

As of last month, there were 3,842 inmates housed at San Quentin. Prison officials gave no timetable for resumption of normal activities.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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