Thirty-four N.J. hospital employees test positive for TB exposure

Thirty-four employees have tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis at the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Toms River, New Jersey, though no one has contracted the airborne disease.

Tuberculosis is a deadly respiratory disease that is carried by human mucous secretions. There are currently no cases of the disease in the Toms River health center, WOBM reports.

“Positive PPD tuberculin test results do not indicate the presence of any disease,” Pat Ostaszewski, the CEO of the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, said, according to WOBM. “There are no active TB cases at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Toms River.”

Health investigators must now determine how these results came about and who is carrying the disease. Ocean County health officials say that workers and administrators in the rehab center are taking universal precaution.

“There employees had contact with an individual who does have tuberculosis,” Ostaszewski said, according to WOBM. “That exposure probably happened some time in 2010. This could have happened anywhere in the United States, where exposure to someone who is coughing and may have active TB would spread their germs.”

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Toms River is a 98 bed rehabilitation hospital that opened in 1993 and currently has 400 employees, according to