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34 test positive for tuberculosis exposure at NJ hospital

A total of 34 employees at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis last week, but no one has contracted the disease, the hospital CEO reported on Thursday.

The Ocean County Health Department and state Department of Health reviewed a list of every patient admitted to the rehabilitation hospital during the past year and none were identified as known TB patients, said Patty Ostaszewski, the hospital's chief executive officer, in a prepared media statement.

"There are no active TB cases at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Toms River. No patients or employees are at risk by coming here,'' Ostaszewski said.

"At this moment, 34 employees tested positive to exposure. That means someone came through our doors and exposed our staff to TB. It could have been a patient or a visitor. It could have been anybody,'' she said.

Ostaszewski said the exposure was found during routine employee testing in January and February. The rehab hospital has 400 employees who are tested annually for tuberculosis exposure.

State and county health departments continue to jointly monitor the situation, she said.

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