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Health District Investigates Tuberculosis Exposure

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(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

tate south Tate South
Email Tate at tate.south@cbsradio.com
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(Las Vegas, NV) –Parents, whose children were patients at Summerlin Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit this past summer, are urged to get their kids tested for tuberculosis.

The Southern Nevada Health District is investigating a TB exposure that occurred in the hospital’s NICU this past summer.

During the initial phase it was determined that no NICU babies had close contact with the TB patient.

In August, parents of the NICU babies received a letter from the health district informing them of the investigation and the early findings. As part of this investigation, the health district conducted ongoing surveillance and has now determined that the TB infection had spread to some hospital staff within the NICU.

While the risk of tuberculosis infection to babies who were exposed to a person with an active case of TB disease is still small, the health district is now recommending TB testing for those babies and parents.

Other patients who were in the hospital during the impacted timeframe have not been found to be at increased risk for exposure to TB.

TB germs are spread through the air when a person with active disease of the lungs or throat talks, coughs or sneezes. People with TB disease are most likely to spread TB to people they spend time with every day. Tuberculosis is not spread by shaking someone’s hand, touching bed linens, door knobs, or toilet seats, sharing silverware, plates, or cups.

TB disease in babies is very serious and the health district is working to coordinate all testing and treatment options with the families and their health care providers.

For more information, call the health district’s helpline at (702) 759-INFO (4636). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  You can also visit their Facebook page.

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