Lax CDC Officials Allow Thousands to be Exposed To Rare Form Of TB

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, May 30, 2007.

  1. OK, this kind of thing makes my blood boil. Three questions. One, why was he allowed to travel in the first place? Two, why didn't the CDC get european officials to detain him, instead of merely callin ghim on the phone? Three, why isn't he being prosecuted? Instead, they send a corporate jet to pick him up and bring him back to Atlanta. The article carefully avoids mentioning whether he is an American citizen or not, but the circumstances make me skeptical. If he is not, question four, why is he still here?


    Federal Quarantine for TB Traveler

    May 29, 7:36 PM (ET)


    ATLANTA (AP) - A man with a rare and dangerous form of tuberculosis ignored doctors' advice and took two trans-Atlantic flights, leading to the first U.S. government-ordered quarantine since 1963, health officials said Tuesday.

    The man, who officials did not identify, is at Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital in respiratory isolation.

    He was potentially infectious at the time of the flights, so officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended medical exams for cabin crew members on those flights, as well as passengers sitting in the same rows or within two rows.

    CDC officials did not release row numbers but said the airlines were working with health officials to contact those passengers. Passengers who should be tested will be contacted by health officials from their home countries.

    The infected man flew from Atlanta to Paris on May 12 aboard Air France Flight 385. He returned to North America on May 24 aboard Czech Air Flight 0104 from Prague to Montreal. The man then drove into the United States at the Champlain, N.Y., border crossing.

    The man told health officials he was not coughing during the flights. Tests indicated the amount of TB bacteria in him was low, so passengers are not considered to be at high risk of infection, said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the CDC's division of global migration and quarantine.

    The man had been told by health officials in early May that he had a form of TB that was resistant to first-line antibiotics and was advised not to travel to Europe. "He was told traveling is against medical advice," said Dr. Steven Katkowsky, director of the Fulton County Department of Health & Wellness.

    Health officials said they don't know how the Georgia man was infected.

    The government issued the quarantine after a CDC official reached the man by phone in Rome and told him not to take commercial flights, but he flew back to North America anyway. "He was told in no uncertain terms not to take a flight back," Cetron said.

    Cetron reached the man once he was back in the United States. At that point, he voluntarily went to a New York hospital, then was flown by the CDC to the Atlanta hospital. He is not facing prosecution, health officials said.

    The quarantine order was the first since 1963, when the government quarantined a patient with smallpox, according to the CDC.

    The man, who went on the trip with his wife, also traveled within Europe, but CDC officials said they did not have information to release about whether the trips were by plane, train or other public transportation.

    His wife tested negative for TB before the trip and is not considered a public health risk, health officials said.

    CDC officials said they are concentrating on investigating the trans-Atlantic flights, when possibility of spread of the disease was greatest because he was in a confined space with other people for many hours.

    Tuberculosis is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. It usually affects the lungs and can lead to symptoms such as chest pain and coughing up blood. It kills nearly 2 million people each year worldwide.

    Because of antibiotics and other measures, the TB rate in the United States has been falling for years. Last year, it hit an all-time low of 13,767 cases, or about 4.6 cases per 100,000 Americans.

    Health officials worry about "multidrug-resistant" TB, which can withstand the mainline antibiotics isoniazid and rifampin. The man was infected with something even worse - "extensively drug-resistant" TB, also called XDR-TB, which resists many drugs used to treat the infection.

    There have been 17 U.S. XDR-TB cases since 2000, according to CDC statistics.

    Three-quarters were people from foreign countries. One case was a Russian man who arrived in Phoenix last year. He was jailed after he stopped taking medications and went unmasked to a restaurant and other businesses, threatening the health of others.

    The CDC's statement that the patient is at the low end of communicability "provides some reassurance," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University.

    The highly dangerous form is "expanding around the world," particularly in South Africa, eastern Europe and the former states of the Soviet Union, he said.

  2. I guess I am a little surprised that no one seems upset by this incident. Of course, we can expect a lot more TB with anyone who wants to walking in from latin america.
  3. so apparently a border agent let this plague carrier back into our country no questions asked. this is why EVERYONE should be profiled, not just middle eastern males. if he was anything but a waspy white guy, they woulda locked down his ass with homeland security right away.
  4. the kicker here is that the boy's new father in law works for cdc in this very area of study. HMMMMMM
    The father-in-law of the 31-year-old man with a rare form of drug-resistant tuberculosis works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the tuberculosis elimination division....

    ...."As part of my job, I am regularly tested for TB. I do not have TB, nor have I ever had TB. My son-in-law's TB did not originate from myself or the CDC's labs, which operate under the highest levels of biosecurity," he said.
  5. Let me get the story straight here.

    A guy dates a girl. Her father works for the CDC on some highly contagious disease. They get married. At the wedding he feels a little sick. Perhaps just being tired. But he went to see the doctor nontheless. "You have TB," he was told, which was the exact same disease the father-in-law was studying. Just a coincidence, perhaps. Not worried, he and the bride hopped on a plane for their honeymoon in Italy.

    While in Italy, blood test results came back. Not only he has the TB, but it's also the rare, highly drug-resistant variant, which happens to be the type the father-in-law was studying. Still a coincidence?

    If this were a movie plot, the movie wouldn't be made because it would be too far-fetched to be believable.

    And what's with AAA's obsession with immigrants? Why is that relevant to the story?
  6. Just wait, now the ACLU will sue the CDC for quarantining the guy...
  7. "The man told health officials he was not coughing during the flights"

    The check is in the mail. I didn't inhale. I won't come in your mouth.
  8. Don't make up rumors like that. Once in awhile you might suffer the legal consequence yourself.
  9. so does this mean the guy's wife has TB now? im sure they exchanged plenty of body fluids during their trip to Europe. and that sure is one hell of a coincidence that this guy has a rare form of TB and his father in law just happens to work with TB at the CDC. it sounds like someone didnt wash their hands after coming home from work.
  10. LOL. This is not AIDS. TB is passed by inhaling others' spit. So if you didn't inhale, then you're probably fine. :)
    #10     May 31, 2007