UPPER WEST SIDE — A tuberculosis-infected worker in Roosevelt Hospital's maternity ward may have spread the disease to newborn children and their parents in the maternity ward, the city health department and hospital administrators said.
Several weeks ago the hospital discovered the worker, who Department of Health officials and the hospital have not identified, had contracted TB, officials said.
"Immediately, upon learning of the our employee's illness, Roosevelt Hospital contacted the New York City Department of Health to advise them of the unfortunate situation and develop a comprehensive plan to identify and contact those patients who were possibly exposed," a hospital spokeswoman said.
They reviewed the employee's schedule and work location, then cross-referenced that with all the patients that spent a "sufficient amount of overlapping time that could result in exposure," a health department spokesman said.
Patients at the hospital on Tenth Avenue and 59th Street were alerted to the possible infection through letters and calls from doctors, the hospital and the health department said. Parents who have not been contacted and want to know if they may have been affected should contact the hospital, officials said.
Officials refused to disclose when they learned of the infection, the amount of time the worker exposed patients to the disease and other details about the contamination.
Roosevelt Hospital will provide free TB testing or reimburse exposed patients for tests from a private doctor.
TB can be transferred between patients during long exposure, but has a high rate of curability, city health officials said.