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No Signs Of Tuberculosis In Exposed New Mexico Babies

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 repeatingsome 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. 

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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