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Five Babies Test Positive for TB

Jasmine Reynolds2 years ago

Five babies have tested positive for tuberculosis after a mass exposure incident occurred in Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso earlier this month.

About the Tuberculosis Exposure

According to Reuters, the five babies are not considered to have active TB. The mass exposure to tuberculosis occurred when a diseased employee interacted with patients for months before later being diagnosed with the disease. Babies and employees in the hospital were exposed to the disease between September 2013 and August 2014 at Providence Memorial Hospital.

The El Paso Department of Public Health has also increased the total number of people who may be affected (from 706 babies and 43 employees to 858 people).

Health and hospital officials are working to contact the affected families and are planning to provide screening and follow-up care free of charge.

Tuberculosis Facts

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially fatal disease that is treatable.
  • The illness is spread through the air (when a person with an active case coughs, sneezes, or speaks).
  • TB is not easy to catch from another person, but examinations are required to ensure a person has not been affected.
  • The disease usually affects the lungs. It can lay dormant in a person’s body for months or years.
  • Babies or those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk for catching the disease.


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