KUNM

No Signs Of Tuberculosis In Exposed New Mexico Babies

Oct 16, 2014

Chest X-ray of probable tuberculosis case
Credit Sandra Bermúdez via Flickr

New Mexico health officials have screened 56 babies for tuberculosis since an El Paso hospital worker tested positive for the potentially lethal respiratory infection last summer. Now, state health officials say none of the babies living here appear to have contracted the disease.

“So far we haven’t seen any clear evidence of transmission with the babies here in New Mexico, so that’s a very positive thing,” said New Mexico Department of Health Tuberculosis Program Manager Diana Fortune.

Fortune says her team is repeating some tests on several babies here just to be safe. And they’re still trying to track down around 15 babies for testing.

Health officials say a pediatric nurse who was diagnosed with TB while working at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso last August may have exposed as many as 750 babies to the disease.

Eight of the exposed babies from Texas and Mexico have shown signs of tuberculosis, though experts say some of those could be false positives.

None of those cases have developed dangerous infections, Fortune said.