NEW: 751 infants and 43 health care workers have been exposed to TB
Hospital worker in El Paso, Texas, came to work with active case of TB
TB is an infectious disease, but not highly contagious
Health officials have added 45 infants to the list of more than 700 who were exposed to tuberculosis at a hospital in El Paso, Texas.
Earlier this week, the city’s Department of Public Health announced that 706 infants and 43 health care workers had been exposed to tuberculosis, commonly called TB, at Providence Memorial Hospital.
An employee at the hospital came to work with an active case of TB some time between September 2013 and August 2014. He or she worked with infants in the nursery and in the post-partum unit at the hospital, the health department said.
These 45 additional cases were exposed during the same time period, and are being notified along with the rest of the group.
The family of each patient was sent a certified letter and is being contacted via telephone with instructions on how to get tested for TB. Any necessary follow-up care will be provided free of charge by the health department and the hospital.
As of Monday, more than 350 appointments had been made for screenings, according to the health department. Parents and other family members of the infants are not being told to get tested because they “are not considered exposed,” health officials said in a statement. There is no word yet on whether any of the people exposed have tested positive for the disease.