Putnamville Correctional Facility officials confirmed the illness that has sickened inmates and staff is the H1N1 strain of influenza.
One inmate is dead after the outbreak spread through the facility. Thirteen remain in the hospital, two in the Intensive Care Unit.
Officials say increased sanitization, using bleach to continually clean areas in the facility, is part of the process to halt that spread. But, they’re also offering inmates who previously turned down the flu vaccine in October, the chance to get vaccinated now. So far about half of those offenders have chosen to receive the vaccine this time around.
Indiana Department of Correction Medical Director Doctor Michael Mitcheff says officials will focus on how to increase those immunization numbers in the future.
“I just talked to a colleague at Missouri who said they incentivize and give them a granola bar and it increases the incidents of them taking it," Mitcheff said. "So those are the types of things we’re going to look at and think outside the box.”
Officials say visitation at the facility will remain closed until further notice.