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Fake list of Baton Rouge STD patients hits social media

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BATON ROUGE - A list naming patients for sexually transmitted diseases caused a stir on social media Wednesday. The supposedly leaked list turned out to be fake.

The Leo S. Butler Community Center in Baton Rouge was named on the list along with the names of 43 people and which STD they were treated for at the center. Leo S. Butler Community Center Director Sherman Ruth says he's unsure why the center was the target of the doctored list.

"You know you had some people that were married, single and what not and what the testing was about. So I was very concerned as anyone should be," he said.

The Department of Health and Hospitals dispelled the "leak" saying the list had a several glaring issues like a rarely used logo screen-grabbed from the department's website. The list also referred to an "east Baton Rouge County Health Department" and coding used in the state of Washington.

"Certainly we would not be utilizing a Washington state code or a Washington state form," said DHH spokesperson Olivia Watkins.

DHH also says it would never send out confidential information like this in a fax, and the names listed do not match any records in the system. Watkins says the hoax and buzz online could keep people from seeking medical treatment for STDs in the future.

"When we have instances where, you know, someone posts a false list to Facebook or tries to demean the process of seeking that care it can be detrimental," she said. "We want to make sure that folks feel secure in their ability to see a physician and get treatment."

DHH plans to continue its investigation to track down the person responsible for the fake list. DHH will then discuss possible legal action.


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