Oregon hospital lifts ER quarantine after 5 develop hallucinations

Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay, Ore., lifted the quarantine of its emergency department Wednesday after a 78-year-old patient, her caregiver, two sheriff's deputies and a hospital employee were afflicted with an unknown illness said to cause hallucinations, according to the World Link.

The incident began after Coos County police responded Wednesday to a 3 a.m. call by the 78-year-old woman's caregiver, who reported vandalism. Police found nothing, but returned again at 5:30 a.m. after another phone call, after which the police believed the woman was suffering from hallucinations.

They brought the woman to Bay Area Hospital where she was later released after being given a clean bill of health by medical personnel. Shortly after, two police officers who responded to the incident, the 78-year-old woman and a hospital employee all began showing signs of hallucinations.

A hazmat team responded to Bay Area Hospital and the house where the incident started. They cleared the ED and gave instructions for how to decontaminate equipment and transport vehicles.

While the investigation is still ongoing, officials believe the illness spread through contact, not through the air. Police believe one way the illness may have spread was through direct contact with a medicated patch.

According to KPIC news, Sergeant Pat Downing of the Coos County police said in a statement that the officers and medical personnel involved were responding to treatment. Both police officers involved in the incident have been treated and released from the hospital, but the 52-year-old female caregiver and her 78-year-old female patient are is still under care at the hospital. The hospital employee is being monitored.

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