Investigation underway into incident that led to lockdown at St. Joseph London

By: Angela Beavin Email
By: Angela Beavin Email

Monday Noon Update:

The mystery continues after a family's trip to a southern Kentucky hospital caused part of the hospital to go on lockdown.

Officials tell us the family went to Saint Joe's in London after suffering symptoms like skin irritation and shortness of breath. While getting checked out workers at the hospital started to feel the same discomforts.

The patients have been released and are doing okay. Also the emergency room is back open now after part of it was shut down.

"Symptoms of runny nose, burning skin itching, red skin, dizziness and headache."

That's what officials say a man and a woman, both in their 20s, came into St. Joseph Hospital in London with Sunday night.

They told emergency room personnel they'd had contact with a stray pitbull that came to their Jackson County home, and started breaking out with the symptoms soon after.

Not much later, hospital staff started experiencing the same thing.

"When they started having the same symptoms, they immediately felt like it was a situation that needed to be addressed with urgency," says St. Joesph Hospital Director of Emergency Services Mary Lou Young, "We determined that we needed to close down a portion of the emergency room just for the safety of the people that were already there."

For about four hours, employees re-routed emergency room patients. And during that time the affected couple, plus their two-year-old son and parents who rode with them to the ER, went through decontamination.

"They take the patients through decontamination showers; they are stripped down and showered off," says Young.

Young says what seems to be a reaction to a some kind of chemical sent four hospital employees to the decontamination room as well.

State officials did have to put down the stray pitbull. The dog was taken to Frankfort where it will be tested to see what kind of chemical on the dog might have affected the family.

State police went to the family's home in McKee to check it out. They tell NEWSFIRST they found nothing out of the ordinary or suspicious.

Original story:

We are following a developing story out of Laurel County.

Officials tell us St. Joseph London is on lockdown tonight.

We are told two people came into the hospital with a rash and now staff at the facility who treated the patients are showing similar symptoms.

A Haz-Mat crew is on the way to the hospital.

We are continuing to follow this story and will bring you the latest information as we get it.

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