St. Luke's parents, babies may have been exposed to tuberculosis

St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan. (Oct. 31, 2013)

St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan. (Oct. 31, 2013) (Credit: Charles Eckert)

Babies and parents who were admitted to the maternity ward at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center may have been exposed to tuberculosis, the Manhattan hospital said Wednesday.

An employee who works in the ward tested positive for the bacterial infection and officials immediately began sending letters to patients, the hospital said in a statement.

"Few individuals exposed to someone with TB become infected because infection generally occurs after continuous exposure over several hours. Still, we are taking the extraordinary precautions that we have to address this issue," St. Luke's Roosevelt said in a statement.

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St. Luke's is working with the city health department and offering patients and employees who worked with the infected person treatment options. The Morningside Heights hospital will reimburse out-of-insurance expenses.

The health department said it is working closely with the hospital and helping to notify affected patients.

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