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Test shows Holding Center inmate has hepatitis A; shots offered to other inmates, staff

An inmate who had been housed at the Erie County Holding Center has tested positive for hepatitis A, a contagious virus that affects the liver, Erie County Sheriff's Office officials announced Thursday.

"The Erie County Department of Health, the Sheriff's Division of Correctional Health, and the individual's health care provider have determined there was a serious possibility of exposure to the disease," sheriff's office officials said in a press release.

The sheriff's office and Health Department are urging everyone who was being held at the Holding Center or worked at the facility between Aug. 2 and Aug. 17 to get a free immunization. The Health Department is hosting a "post-exposure prophylaxis clinic" from noon to 7 p.m. Monday in the NFTA Terminal, 181 Ellicott St.

The inmate was released and has been contacted, according to the sheriff's office.

"Hepatitis A appears only as an acute or a newly occurring infection and does not become a chronic disease. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. It can be spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the virus," sheriff's office officials said.


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