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200 babies tested over TB fears

30th June 2006

More than 200 babies are to be tested for tuberculosis after a health worker at a London hospital was diagnosed with the disease.

Letters were sent to the parents of 213 babies born at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Obstetric Hospital.

The worker was diagnosed in March but may have been ill since December.

A series of special screening clinics have been set up by the University College London Hospitals Trust, which says the risk of infection is low.

The hospital said it was taking the precautionary measure because babies who contract TB are more likely than adults to become seriously unwell.

She added that the trust was contacting all patients and staff who may have come into contact with the affected person to offer information, advice and reassurance.

TB is a curable infectious disease, transmitted in airborne droplets of mucus and saliva. It most commonly affects the lungs and can lie dormant for years. Symptoms, once they do develop, include a cough, phlegm, weight loss, fatigue and fevers.

The University College London Hospitals Trust has set up a helpline for patients to call if they have any concerns - 020 8676 3289.

 

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