Infants may have been exposed to TB at Toronto hospital

Babies at Toronto's Scarborough General Hospital are being tested for tuberculosis after a nurse at the facility tested positive for the disease.

The hospital announced late last week that 87 babies may have been exposed to the disease. The newborns at risk were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the facility between April 1 and July 18, Digital Journal reports.

"Although TB cases are on the rise in Toronto, they are extremely rare for newborns," Reena Lovinsky, an infection prevention expert at the hospital, said, according to CTV News.

There are between 350 and 400 new cases of TB each year in Toronto, according to Toronto Public Health.

"There is a minimum or minuscule risk of the babies catching tuberculosis," Peter Azzopardi, the chief of pediatrics at Scarborough General, said, according to CBC. "The problems with babies and tuberculosis is that their illness could not be very specific and could rapidly escalate."

Toronto Public Health has told the parents of the newborns about the potential exposure and has advised them to bring the babies to the facility for testing.

"If any of these infants do test positive, be assured the hospital will provide immediate treatment and extensive follow-up care," Azzopardi said, according to CityTV.

None of the newborns has been found to have the disease to date.