The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has determined that more than 700 patients and more than 40 employees were exposed to a hospital employee with an active case of Tuberculosis (TB) in the post-partum and newborn nursery area of Providence Memorial Hospital (PMH). This exposure took place between September 2013 and August 2014. The DPH is working closely with the staff of PMH and has carefully reviewed employment and medical records to determine exactly which infants and employees were exposed. The families of each patient are being contacted via telephone and certified letter with proactive screening instructions.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis Image/CDC

To date, 706 patients and 43 exposed employees have been identified. Post-exposure screen and follow-up will be provided free of charge through the DPH and PMH. Public Health officials are collaborating with state officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to facilitate these screenings.

Health department letter to parents (English)

Health department Carta para los Padres (Spanish)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page