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TB Exposure Screening List Update

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Parents are being notified via certified letter, letter, and telephone call

Mega Doctor News

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El Paso, Texas – The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has received a list of approximately 45 more babies who have been exposed to TB at Providence Memorial Hospital. The exposure was in a nursery unit via a healthcare worker who was confirmed as an active TB case. As with any TB investigation the list of exposures/possible exposures can fluctuate over time. These parents are receiving the same certified mail and/or telephone notification as the 706 who were on the original list. They are also being asked to call 2-1-1 or 1-877-541-7905 in order to have their child screened.

As of Monday, September 22, 2104 more than 350 appointments were made for screenings. Of those appointments, 40 were for Monday, and despite the treacherous weather conditions in some parts of town, 38 of these appointments were kept. Because of the ease of flow experienced thus far, the Department is increasing the number of appointments being scheduled per day. A total of 72 appointments are now being scheduled daily. This is expected to continue for the next few weeks. Parents and other family members are not being tested because they are not considered exposed. It is important to note that a baby or infant is not considered contagious even if they test positive for active TB.

Robert Resendes, Public Health Director and Dr. Enrique Martinez, Sierra Providence CMO, will be available to speak to the media this evening during a press briefing. It will take place:

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Today, Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Department of Public Health

5115 El Paso Drive

5:30 p.m.

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(Video/photo opportunity of the examination rooms will take place at 6:00 p.m. following the briefing)

Data collected from the hospital indicates that of the now 750+ exposures, 671 were listed as residents of Texas; 54 of New Mexico; 26 of Mexico; and one from Arizona. Screening for New Mexico residents is being handled by the New Mexico Department of Public Health and information is available by calling 505-827-0006.

Background:

September 19, 2014

El Paso, Texas – The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has determined that more than 700 patients and more than 40 employees were exposed to a hospital employee with an active case of Tuberculosis (TB) in the post-partum and newborn nursery area of Providence Memorial Hospital (PMH). This exposure took place between September 2013 and August 2014. The DPH is working closely with the staff of PMH and has carefully reviewed employment and medical records to determine exactly which infants and employees were exposed. The families of each patient are being contacted via telephone and certified letter with proactive screening instructions.

The mission of the Department of Public Health is to provide research and evaluation, prevention, intervention, and mobilization services to the people of El Paso so they can be healthy, productive, safe and secure. For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department of Public Health, visit EPHealth.com or dial 2-1-1.

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