More Babies Test Positive for Tuberculosis in Texas
EL PASO – More babies have tested positive for tuberculosis after a mass exposure in a Texas hospital.
A hospital nursery employee confirmed to have TB while on the job in El Paso left more than 850 babies possibly exposed.
Eleven infants are confirmed to have tuberculosis.
The infected worker at the hospital reported TB symptoms in July but was allowed to continue to work for weeks.
A federal report showed the employee told medical professionals she coughed up blood at a health screening. Authorities said soon after more tests should have been conducted to confirm if the disease had become contagious, but hospital guidelines didn’t mandate further testing.
Parents of 95 percent of those possibly exposed were contacted. Of the 11 confirmed cases, El Paso’s public health director said 7 are possible false positives.
None of the positive cases have active TB. Doctors say the children have the latent form. So what’s the difference?
The Centers for Disease Control said people with latent TB are not contagious and do not feel or show any symptoms of the disease.
Medical professionals said up to 10 percent of latent patients will have their TB infection go active at some point.
A reminder, tuberculosis is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. If untreated, TB can be deadly.
See KRGV News Video