SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2018

New Mexico health department holds screenings for babies potentially exposed to TB

The New Mexico Department of Health held tuberculosis screenings from Sept. 23-24 for dozens of babies who may have been exposed to a hospital employee with an active case of the disease.

The babies may have been exposed in the post-partum and newborn nursery area of Providence Hospital in El Paso, Texas, between September 2013 and August.

The testing was held at the Sunland Park and Anthony Public Health offices. Access was restricted to the offices following the testing.

The El Paso Department of Public Health is leading the investigation into the possible TB exposure. The New Mexico Department of Health is providing screenings specifically for New Mexico babies that may have come into contact with the health worker, and will provide treatment for TB if necessary. Patients with the disease are required to take antibiotics for six to nine months.

The Department of Health said it would provide updates about test results and any new developments in the testing process.

The health worker may have exposed more than 700 infants and 40 health care workers total to TB. The employee is no longer working and is receiving treatment, according to CNN.