Solicitors warned about TB in prisons
THE LAW Society of Ireland has issued an advisory to criminal law practitioners warning them of an infectious tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in Cloverhill Prison.
As part of a regular email bulletin sent to between 8,000 and 9,000 members earlier this week the Law Society included an item advising criminal law practitioners of a “confirmed outbreak of infectious TB in certain prisons over the past number of months”.
Asked what prisons were affected, director general of the society, Ken Murphy said correspondence between the society, the HSE and the Irish Prisons Service in March this year referred to incidents in Cloverhill in Dublin and the Midlands Prison in Laois.
However, it is understood just one case of TB was recorded in the Midlands Prison last year and the situation there has been resolved.
Mr Murphy said the society did not have any reason to believe any solicitors had contracted TB, adding that the item contained in the e-bulletin was an “information item” for practitioners.
The society’s bulletin said the HSE was “engaged in ‘contact tracing’, which involves individual risk assessments, taking into account the length of time spent with an infectious case and the vulnerability of individuals being risk assessed”.
A spokeswoman for the HSE in Dublin Mid-Leinster said it was “actively working with prisons in the management of TB in the prison setting”.
“At any one time a number of prisons are likely to have TB identified in inmates because of the risk profile of the prison population,” she said. “Managing a TB outbreak in a prison setting is challenging because of the difficulties with practicalities such as prompt diagnosis of cases, identification of contacts, screening and compliance with treatment.”