Flu monitored at Newport women's prison after inmate death

McPherson Unit (Source: Arkansas Department of Correction)
McPherson Unit (Source: Arkansas Department of Correction)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) – Extra medical staff has been called in to monitor the flu at the McPherson Unit in Newport.

Weekend visitations were cancelled at the prison after the death of one woman inmate Saturday morning, according to Shea Wilson, Public Information Officer with the Arkansas Department of Correction.

Wilson tells Region 8 News the woman did have flu-like symptoms, but was later tested and did not have the flu.

However, since the woman experienced symptoms of the flu, the housing area she lived in was put into isolation so the illness would not spread.

"We do have two confirmed cases of the flu, or what we think is the flu at the McPherson unit," Wilson said. "Those inmates are being treated at the prison infirmary, and the housing area that they live in has also been isolated."

Visitations will continue to be cancelled until there are no cases 72 hours after the last patient is treated. Medical staff also screened and cleared prison employees. Health officials have not yet released what caused the inmates death.

We will update the story with additional information as it becomes available.

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