Providence hospital employee had tuberculosis while working around patients

Portland, Ore.-based Providence St. Vincent Medical Center officials are warning patients that a hospital employee who was working around patients was diagnosed with active tuberculosis, according to KUOW.

The hospital did not disclose the employee's department, when the employee contracted tuberculosis or how long they worked with patients while contagious.

Some patients and staff may have been exposed, said Providence chief nursing officer Jennifer Burrows, RN. Providence is notifying anyone who was in direct contact with the staff member and is offering free TB testing to anyone who may have been exposed. The health system declined to comment on the staff member's condition or where they may have contracted the disease.

"It seems vague now because we're still in the process of our investigation," said Rachel Plotinsky, MD, director of infection prevention for St. Vincent. "We will certainly have the information in terms of exposure time period, those who are at risk, and we will be notifying them in short order. But at this moment, we do not have that information to give."

To identify the full scope of infection, Providence is working with local health departments and the Oregon public health department.

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