Tuberculosis Scare at Hospital Worries Families | News
LAS VEGAS -- The Southern Nevada Health District is still searching for four families who may have been exposed to tuberculosis at Summerlin Hospital. The death of a mother and infant with TB spurred the investigation over the summer. So far, 26 people have tested positive with two of them showing symptoms.
According to the health district, there is a list of 140 infants and their parents who were in the Summerlin Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit between May and August and could have been exposed. The district has been unable to locate four of the families.
Some families have contacted 8 News NOW believing they should be on the list but have never received any notification. One new mother says she is paying attention to every cough and sniffle from her baby.
"He just started sneezing, probably this morning, a little bit here and there," said Tasey Shaul, who was denied the free testing.
Shaul's son was born with fluid in his lungs and spent five days in the hospital's Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit over the summer. Months after her baby was brought home, she's now worried her whole family could have been exposed to tuberculosis.
"We've talked to the health district probably 10 times, Summerlin Hospital administration, everything, we've been communicating with everybody, we just keep getting told you're not on the list, don't worry about it," Shaul said.
Jennifer Davis and her family got tested after learning of the TB scare. Her son was born premature and was in the specialized unit for two weeks. She says the health district offered her free skin testing, but she had to call to find out that information.
"The fact that I had to call them, really bothers me, because what if I didn't see the story. What if we had been affected and two months later something happened?" Davis said.
The health district says nearly all the people who need to be tested have already been contacted. Chief health officer Dr. Joe Iser says, at this point, other families don't need to worry.
"We've been contacting people all week, so we still have some people left to contact and it's only those four," Iser said.
The investigation could be expanded if more people test positive for TB during the testing of 140 babies and their families.
"In my opinion, anyone who wants to be tested who was there, should be able to get tested," Shaul said.
If you have questions or think you might need to be tested call the Southern Nevada Health District's help line 702-759-4636. There are also a number of clinic's in the valley that offer tuberculosis skin testing. It usually costs around $30.