A tuberculosis-infected worker at New York city's St. Barnabas Hospital may have exposed more than 500 patients--including 200 newborn babies--to the dangerous disease. She's one of the roughly 4 to 5 percent of the city's active TB cases occurring among healthcare workers, who are exposed to such diseases far more often than the general populace. While the state of New York requires healthcare workers to have annual TB tests, anyone who has ever been infected can test positive, so it was not unusual that the healthcare worker had had a positive test result in the past, city officials noted. The woman, who was diagnosed on January 29th, had worked in the maternity ward, nursery, neonatal intensive care unit and psychiatric ward of the hospital prior to learning of her condition. The city has been working with hospital records to determine which specific patients might have been exposed to TB, and has identified a total of 532 patients who appear to be at greatest risk.
To find out more about the scare:
- read this article in The New York Times