Infected worker sparks TB scare at St. Barnabas Hospital

Hundreds of people who went to St. Barnabas Hospital for treatment may have left with tuberculosis, according to the hospital and city health officials.

The hospital says an employee who worked in four areas tested positive for TB on January 30. Administrators say anyone who visited the facility's neonatal, well-baby nursery, maternity or psychiatric units between November 1, 2006 and January 24, 2007 could have the respiratory illness.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the hospital believe 700 people were exposed. That number includes 538 patients, including 238 infants. St. Barnabas is calling those people and sending letters urging them to come in for an evaluation. The hospital says about 260 people have been tested so far, and three adults have tested positive.

The unidentified hospital employee was treated and has since tested negative for tuberculosis. However, the employee has not yet returned to work.

Related Information:Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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