Health District: TB Exposure at Summerlin Hospital Neonatal Unit - 8 News NOW

Health District: TB Exposure at Summerlin Hospital Neonatal Unit

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LAS VEGAS -- The Southern Nevada Health District is asking that parents and babies who were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Summerlin Hospital this past summer get tested for tuberculosis following the death of a mother and her child.

This only affects patients who were hospitalized between May 11 and Aug. 8, 2013 in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The health district announced Monday that a baby and mother with active TB were in the unit and exposed staff to the disease. The mother died from TB later at a California hospital and the child died in August. The woman did deliver twins and the other child died due to premature birth. Some hospital staff tested positive to the infection. According to hospital officials, the patients did not contract TB while at the hospital, but already had the disease upon admission.

The investigation showed that no babies had come into close contact with the TB patient. According to the health district, the risk of TB infection to babies who were exposed to an active case of the disease is small; however, TB germs are transmitted through the air.

"Someone just going to visit Summerlin, going through the lobby, would have no risk of exposure at all. There is no worry about anyone else being exposed except for the people we have identified," said Dr. Joe Eser, Chief Health Officer, Southern Nevada Health District.

Despite the small risk, the health district is asking that parents and babies be tested. Families that are impacted are being notified by the health district. Summerlin Hospital has offered to provide free chest X-rays to children that could have been exposed.

The health district says it has the contact information for the people affected. However, if you have questions or concerns, call the help line at (702) 759-INFO(4636).

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