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Babies to be tested after TB hospital case

Babies to be tested after TB hospital case
Photo: Babies to be tested after TB hospital case
Up to 40 babies and toddlers who may have come into contact with a Queensland hospital worker who has TB will be screened for the disease.

Up to 40 Queensland babies and toddlers will be screened for tuberculosis after a health worker at the Gladstone hospital tested positive for the disease.

Authorities have contacted the parents of newborns and children aged up to two who may have had contact with the hospital worker from late March to early May.

The worker was immediately removed from hospital duties after returning a positive result as part of routine screening procedures.

Hospital executive director Dr Nicki Murdock said the risk to the newborns and toddlers was low but tests would be carried out as a precaution.

Tests for TB are most effective three months after any exposure.
Dr Murdock noted that a similar case in Brisbane a few years ago did not result in any children or babies becoming infected. 

TB is a bacterial infection that can affect almost any part of the body but most commonly the lungs.

It's spread when people inhale moisture droplets expelled by an infected person when they cough, sneeze, laugh or speak.

It can be cured with drugs, but it can be a serious disease if it's not diagnosed and treated.

Anyone concerned about the Gladstone case can call (07) 4920 7025.


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