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LAS VEGAS, N.M. -- Authorities in northern New Mexico's San Miguel County said tainted heroin has caused one death and several hospitalizations among people booked into the county jail in Las Vegas in the past month.

Detention Center Warden Patrick Snedeker said officials are using medical screenings and other steps to try to detect warning signs of use of contaminated heroin as people are taken into custody.

Snedeker said symptoms include seizures, hyperventilation, hallucinations and dangerous changes in vital signs.

He said the first case was when a 41-year-old woman died Feb. 19, a week after she was stricken at the jail and hospitalized.

According to the Las Vegas Optic , jail officials then began seeing the same symptoms in other inmates who were chronic heroin users.

Associated Press,

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