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EMORY: Hospital patients, staff exposed to TB | News

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EMORY: Hospital patients, staff exposed to TB
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EMORY: Hospital patients, staff exposed to TB

ATLANTA -- As many as 780 Emory University Hospital patients and employees have been exposed to tuberculosis.

The period of exposure ranged from November 7, 2010 to April 17, 2011 at Emory's main hospital on Clifton Road. 

"Although Emory takes many steps to ensure a safe environment for our patients and employees, it was found that a hospital staff member, who unknowingly carried the infection, came in contact with these patients and employees," Emory spokesman Lance Skelly said in a statement. "The TB-infected employee was proactive in seeking and obtaining additional tests, including a chest x-ray, when a persistent cough would not subside. Under State law, the Georgia Department of Community Health and patients who may have been exposed must be notified."

"Each person has been contacted and provided proactive screening instructions," Skelly added. "Post-exposure follow-up will also be provided free of charge through the patient's local county health department. Emory University Hospital officials are collaborating with state officials to rapidly facilitate these screenings."

Just because a person is exposed to tuberculosis, it does not mean he or she will develop the infectious lung disease. Medication can prevent the disease from ever becoming active.

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