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Patrolman stuck by used hypodermic needle

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Columbus police are expressing concern about the health of a fellow officer stuck with a needle on a syringe early Monday, police said.

Patrolman Mark Hutcheson, whose finger was pricked while searching one of four people in a vehicle that was pulled over for a minor traffic violation, was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital and later released, according to Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers.

While Hutcheson is showing no signs of infection, being stuck by a used hypodermic needle has the potential to transmit infectious blood-borne diseases such as AIDS or a form of hepatitis, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"This is a very serious situation," Myers said. 

For more on this story, see Tuesday's Republic.

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