Hundreds of newborn babies need treatment after hospital employee tests positive for tuberculosis

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350 Infants Possibly Exposed To Tuberculosis At California Hospital

A Bay Area Hospital announced Friday that hundreds of babies in its Mother & Infant Care Center might have been exposed to tuberculosis by a hospital employee.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center says it will offer antibiotic treatments as a precautionary measure for the 350 infants it treated between mid-August and mid-November.

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"Because the babies have an immature immune system, the bacteria can get into their bloodstream," a doctor at the hospital told KNTV. "And from the bloodstream it can go to anywhere in the body, including the brain."

Tuberculosis spreads though the air when someone with active TB coughs or sneezes. The hospital says the risk of infection in this case is low because the nurse didn't show any symptoms.

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