TB reported at Harborview Medical Center, 45 patients may have been exposed

SEATTLE – A patient who tested positive for tuberculosis (TB) may have come in contact with 45 patients and staff members at Harborview Medical Center, the hospital said Thursday.

The person came in contact with patients on three different occasions between mid-December and Jan. 20.

Harborview officials say the patient did not show symptoms typical for TB and suffers from several chronic illnesses. As soon as TB was suspected the patient was put in isolation.

Hospital officials say they believe the risk of transmission from the infected patient to others is relatively low, but they are contacting about 45 patients who may have been exposed as a precaution.

TB is infectious and spreads when a person coughs or sneezes but is not easily spread like the flu or common cold and can be treated with antibiotics.

Harborview will be conducting TB testing at no charge for both patients and staff.

As a resource to patients and family members, we have established a Nurse Call Line at 1.855.520.8600 to answer questions.