25 California Babies May Have Been Exposed to TB

Infected person visited 2 neonatal intensive care wards
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2012 3:48 AM CDT
Updated May 25, 2012 4:10 AM CDT
25 Calif. Babies May Have Been Exposed to TB
Tuberculosis causes bacteria to slowly grow in the lungs.   (Shutterstock)

The parents of 25 babies in northern California have been warned that their children may have been exposed to tuberculosis in their first days of life. A person with active tuberculosis visited neonatal intensive care wards in two hospitals in Sacramento and Sutter County in March and April of this year, ABC reports. The person, who did not know he or she had the disease at the time, was not a health worker, but did have a valid reason to visit the intensive care units, say hospital authorities.

"This is an unfortunate situation that happened, but it was not the fault of the person or the hospitals," a health official says. The infection is difficult to detect in babies, so public health officials plan to test hospital administrators and staff members who may have been exposed to see if the infection spread. Elsewhere in California, a tuberculosis patient was jailed last week for refusing to take his medication. A judge denied the man's request for freedom yesterday. (More tuberculosis stories.)

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