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Illness outbreak reported at state prison, 1 inmate dead

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Public health and corrections officials are responding to an illness outbreak at an Alabama prison that left one inmate dead.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said Friday that there has been a pneumococcal disease outbreak at the Ventress Correctional Facility in Barbour County. Three inmates were hospitalized and one inmate died after developing meningitis.

Health officials said the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria can cause illnesses ranging from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and meningitis.

The Alabama Department of Corrections is giving antibiotics to inmates and staff who have had close contact with inmates who have been ill.

The health department has ordered vaccine doses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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