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County jail staff taken to hospital after possible exposure to opioids

11 staff members were checked over by medical staff.
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Staff at the Sherburne County Jail in Elk River were taken to a hospital to get checked out after being potentially exposed to strong opioids.

The incident happened on Wendesday afternoon when one of the inmates at the jail experienced a medical emergency.

Four clinical contractors were taken to a hospital along with the inmate after at least one of them reported "tingling in their fingers," the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office said.

A further seven correctional officers were also taken to local hospitals, after all staff were given the option to be checked out by doctors.

Fortunately, all were fine and released, though the inmate remains hospitalized.

"The initial screening indicated that the inmate was not under the influence of any illegal substances," the sheriff's office said, while a search of his cell did not reveal anything suspicious.

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The Centers for Disease Control says that first responders are at risk from exposure to opioids like fentanyl in the event they inhale powders or aerosols, ingest it accidentally, or they suffer a needlestick.

It notes however that skin contact will not likely lead to overdose, unless the exposure happens over an extend period of time.

"Brief skin contact with illicit fentanyl is not expected to lead to toxic effects if any visible contamination is promptly removed."

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