Officials: Babies in Summerlin NICU exposed to TB

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Health officials are recommending babies and family members who were at Summerlin Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit this past summer get tested for tuberculosis.

Dr. Joe Iser, chief medical officer with the Southern Nevada Health District, said a mother passed the infection to her baby either before, during or shortly after giving birth. The baby was immediately isolated when the condition came to light in June, officials said, and has since died.

Investigators have identified 26 people, including the mother’s family members and hospital staff, who have been infected. Two have the active, contagious form of the disease, while the rest have the latent form that doesn’t present symptoms.

Iser said it’s unlikely that the babies who may have been exposed will come down with the disease, but the health district is informing hundreds of people who are affected and have set up a private clinic at the health district office to provide testing.

TB is spread through the air when a sick person coughs, sneezes or speaks. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, fever and fatigue.

TB usually attacks the lungs, but can affect other organs and can be fatal if not properly treated.

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