Jail mumps case prompts public warning

File photo
Dr. Jules Madrigal discusses symptoms and statistics of mumps after a case was confirmed at the Burnet County Jail late last month.



By Connie Swinney

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Test results have confirmed a positive result for mumps at the Burnet County Jail, prompting a quarantine among some inmates and a public health alert.

According to the Burnet County Health Authority, a male inmate incarcerated since at least April 23 began showing symptoms of mumps.

Mumps, an infectious viral disease, is marked by a swelling of salivary glands, fever, flu-like symptoms, pain in the face, pain during swallowing, loss of appetite and fatigue.

“Usually we don't see the mumps. We thought we had pretty much eradicated it until the last nine years,” Burnet County Health Authority Dr. Juliette Madrigal said. “The nurse practitioner at the jail did a good job recognizing this because it's so rare.”

The inmate began exhibiting symptoms on April 27, when he was tested, the Burnet County Health Authority reported. Two days later the test came back positive.


BC inmate's redemption found through faith

Nathan Hendrix/Burnet Bulletin
Ron Johnson and Randy Wayne Johns start and end each of their meetings on Tuesdays with a prayer. Ron inspired Randy to make significant changes in his life, and now Randy tries to do the same for other inmates at the Burnet County Jail.





By Nathan Hendrix

Staff Writer

The Highlander

Everyone can be redeemed. This is the belief of one Burnet County inmate after he found his personal redemption through faith and self-reflection and now works to share that belief with other inmates.

Randy Wayne Johns, 46, is currently serving a five-year sentence for evading arrest with a vehicle and theft of up to $30,000, but relationships he never would have made outside of prison have helped him begin to turn his life around.

“I don't want to be locked up, but being here has opened a lot of doors for me,” he said.

The most pivotal relationship Randy made was with Ron Johnson.

Ron works with a group of men who visit the Burnet County Jail once a week for “prison ministry.” Ron has been making the voluntary visits on Tuesdays for more than year and said that Randy's reaction is unique.


County prepares for inmate influx



Burnet County officials and law enforcement are preparing for an influx of inmates from nearby counties in coming weeks.

Burnet County Judge James Oakley said commissioners court approved contracts with three Texas counties on Tuesday to house inmates in overflow conditions or special circumstances, and the jail has hired additional staff to handle the increase. Hayes, Somerville, and Taylor county jails have all contracted for the ability to send inmates to Burnet County Jail.

Prior to new staff, the jail was only allowed up to house 240 inmates based on its staffing. The total capacity of the jail is 587.

“It's a See-Saw effect,” Oakley said. “As we bring in new inmates, we hire more jailors.”

In late June, commissioners voted to unfreeze eight positions at the jail to prepare for the influx of new inmates.

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