herald

Thursday 17 January 2019

Jail officer treated in hospital after TB outbreak

A YOUNG prison officer is understood to be in a serious condition in hospital after contracting the potentially fatal tuberculosis disease.

The officer, who is in his 20s, is believed to have contracted the disease in recent months.

Sources at Cloverhill prison have told the Herald that it was initially thought the officer had contracted meningitis, but on further examination it turned out to be TB.

The news of the officer's illness has left prisoners and staff on high alert.

The Herald has previously revealed that there has been increasing concerns over an ongoing outbreak at the west Dublin jail.

Isolation

Eight cases of the disease were confirmed in an outbreak of TB in June.

Two of the eight cases were so serious that two of the prisoners were treated in hospital, while the remaining six were placed in an isolation unit at the jail.

"Staff with young families in particular are worried about picking up any infection," a prison source told the Herald.

It is understood that staff at Midlands jail received counselling and were screened after the discovery of the outbreak there.

In March this year the Herald highlighted the initial outbreak in Cloverhill, which was followed later by an outbreak in the Midlands prison.

hnews@herald.ie

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