More Than 700 Infants Exposed To TB At Texas Hospital

EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — More than 700 infants at an El Paso hospital have been exposed to tuberculosis by an employee infected with the disease, according to public health officials.

The city’s Department of Public Health says the infants along with about 40 employees at Providence Memorial Hospital were exposed.

Officials say they were exposed from September 2013 to August. The employee worked in the hospital’s nursery. Officials said employment and medical records were reviewed to determine which infants and employees were exposed.

Dr. Hector Ocaranza, the health authority for El Paso County, says the hospital workers have been tested and officials are waiting on results. Letters were sent Thursday to the parents of the infants directing them to undergo screenings.

Ocaranza says TB is treatable and the exposure doesn’t represent a public health threat.

The CDC warns that tuberculosis, if not treated properly, can be fatal.

The El Paso Department of Public Health setup a website to provide updated information to the community, including a detailed calendar of potential exposure dates.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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