800 people exposed to tuberculosis in Atlanta hospital

ATLANTA (WSB/CNN) – Hundreds of patients and staff members were informed of a possible tuberculosis outbreak in an Atlanta, GA, hospital.

Emory University Hospital confirmed an employee may have exposed nearly 700 patients and 100 staff members to tuberculosis.

"Basically it said that I came in contact with someone that had an active case of TB and I needed to be tested," said an Emory University Hospital former patient.

A hospital spokesman says they learned about the employee's tuberculosis in April, but finding out who may have come into contact was a time-consuming effort.

The State Department of Community Health is now handling notifications and testing, going back to patients from November of last year.

"I don't think people should panic at all," said Dr. Anil Mangla. "If people are concerned, get to your doctor, get to the local health department, get the test and see if it's positive or negative."

The letters instruct people to go to their local health department for a free test, but some former patients have to go back to Emory University Hospital instead.

Tuberculosis screenings are done using a skin test, and the results are usually available within 48-72 hours.

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