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BOSTON DOCTOR WITH INFECTIOUS TUBERCULOSIS MAY HAVE EXPOSED MORE THAN 2,000 PATIENTS AT FOUR HOSPITALS TO THE DISEASE

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A female surgical resident with infectious tuberculosis (TB) continued to work at four Boston area hospitals between June 2003 and June 2004 thereby exposing more than 2,000 patients to the disease according to an Associated Press report.

Health officials are attempting to understand how this situation was able to occur and what must be done to ensure that it does not happen again. Certainly, there were aspects in surveillance and tracking which could have been better.

The affected hospitals are Boston Medical Center, the Veterans Affairs hospital’s Roxbury Campus, Brocton Hospital, and Cape Cod Hospital.

The doctor was still working for at least 6 months while her TB was contagious. Authorities, who place the risk of transmission as low, are contacting patients and hospital employees who came in direct contact with her during that period.

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