December 10, 2009
The Texas Department of State Health Services is advising anyone who may have received a tattoo at a Tyler apartment to contact their doctor or public health officials.
The apartment, located at 2601 N. Broadway Ave., is not a licensed tattoo facility. Home-based tattoo studios are illegal in Texas.
DSHS issued a cease and desist letter yesterday to the tattooist for operating a tattoo facility without a license. A disease control investigation was prompted when DSHS discovered that a person with a communicable disease may have received a tattoo at the location.
DSHS has since discovered at least 20 other people, including minors, who received tattoos at the apartment. Those individuals are being tested.
Risk of disease transmission exists if standards are not being met and tattoo instruments contaminated with blood are not sterilized or are used inappropriately between clients.
Health officials urge anyone who thinks they received a tattoo at the apartment or at any unlicensed location to contact their health care provider or call DSHS at (903) 533-5330. All contacts are confidential. DSHS will provide routine screening and laboratory testing for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C if needed.
DSHS also has referred the matter to the Tyler Police Department and the Smith County district attorney's office.
(News Media Contact: Carrie Williams, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)
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