Modified: August 23, 2018 2:28pm
Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports a confirmed case of hepatitis A in an inmate housed at the Erie County Holding Center.
After confirming the case, 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.
The Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Health are urging everyone housed at or who worked at the Erie County Holding Center between August 2 and August 17, to get a free immunization.
The Erie County Department of Health will host a post-exposure prophylaxis clinic on Monday, August 27 from Noon – 7:00 P.M. at the NFTA Terminal on 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. 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.
Hepatitis A signs and symptoms typically do not appear until the individual has had the virus for a few weeks. These symptoms can be similar to those of a “flu-like” illness and may include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, abdominal pain or discomfort, dark urine, joint pain, clay-colored bowel movements, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
This case of hepatitis A is the first reported incident between the two jail facilities, and the Sheriff’s Office is contacting over 170 employees who may have had contact with the inmate as well as current inmates to offer vaccinations. The Department of Health is handling all individuals who are released from custody. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office has taken steps to sanitize the area where the infected inmate was housed.
The inmate was released from the holding center and has been contacted to ensure they received proper treatment for hepatitis A.