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Medical and law enforcement personnel exposed to unknown substance

At 8 a.m., officials say medical personnel and law enforcement personnel began to complain of unusual physical symptoms. (WJHG/WECP)
At 8 a.m., officials say medical personnel and law enforcement personnel began to complain of unusual physical symptoms. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: May. 30, 2020 at 11:20 AM CDT
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UPDATE: 5/30/20 4:46 p.m.

Four nurses, three Panama City Beach Police officers, and two Bay County Sheriff's deputies were stabilized and treated. The law enforcement officers have been released.

"A deputy arrested about a 30 year old male off highway 79 and 388 for possession or marijuana and possession of prescription pills," Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said.

"The subject began having a seizure. He was released and was transported to the bay county jail. Around the Hathaway Bridge, he began having another seizure.

"We had four nurses with effects. We had a deputy that actually passed out. Some nurses were vomiting and came very close to passing out."

The cause of the reaction is still unclear.

"With information about certain opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanyl, that's the first thing that comes to our mind," Ford said. "But the bottom line is we really don't know what has caused this."

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Bay County Sheriff's officials say a traffic stop Saturday morning led to law enforcement and medical personnel being exposed to an unknown substance.

Officials say deputies arrested a man for possession of illegal narcotics after a traffic stop. They say on the way to the Bay County Jail, the man started having a seizure. EMS was called and he was transported to Panama City Beach emergency room. They say he was stabilized around 7 a.m. and taken to the jail again.

Officials say the man then had a second seizure and was taken back to the same ER. It was then he became combative and law enforcement responded.

At 8 a.m., officials say medical personnel and law enforcement personnel began to complain of unusual physical symptoms. They say the personnel complaining of the symptoms were the ones who dealt with the man that had been arrested and treated in the emergency room twice this morning.

Panama City Beach officers and one BCSO deputy were affected. Officials say the deputy became unresponsive but regained consciousness after being administered Narcan.

Officials say all personnel affected have received medical attention and recovered. However, some medical personnel are still under observation. They also say the man, who was arrested, is also stable.

Law enforcement is still trying to determine what the specific substance was that personnel were exposed to that caused their symptoms.

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