Midlands prison closed to visitors after flu outbreak

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A minimum security prison in Columbia will be closed to visitors after a swine flu outbreak that has made 140 inmates sick.

      South Carolina Corrections Department spokesman Josh Gelinas says visitations will be canceled for Saturday and Sunday at the Manning Correctional Institution.

      Gelinas says inmates began complaining of flu symptoms on Monday. About half of those who were diagnosed with the H1N1 flu were still sick on Friday. None required hospitalization.

      The prison's 730 inmates are housed in three different units. The outbreak happened in the largest of the three units, one that has about 500 inmates.

      Gelinas says prison officials will review the outbreak on Monday before deciding about visitation next weekend.

      Prisoners are not routinely given flu shots, but are receiving them now.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)