Johns Hopkins Hospital Evacuated Over Possible Tuberculosis Exposure

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore

Tuberculosis is an incredibly infectious and deadly disease. "The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes", according to the Mayo Clinic.

"There was a small tube that contained a frozen sample and it was dropped and the lid came off while the sample was still frozen inside", said Dr. Landon King, executive vice dean at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

A cancer research building at 1500 Orleans St. was evacuated, according to Baltimore Fire Chief Roman Clark.

Crowds of medical staff streamed out of the hospital on Thursday afternoon after the Baltimore medical facility ordered an evacuation of two buildings after possible tuberculosis exposure. Some employees said they were told not to walk down a certain hallway.

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In 2016, about 10.5 million people became ill around the world with tuberculosis, and 1.7 million were killed by it.

There was no indication that others may have been exposed to the tuberculosis, Hoppe said.

But hospital authorities later said that there was "zero risk" to patients and hospital personnel and that testing would not occur. In the USA, however, it's steadily become a rarity. While many people with latent TB never go on to develop symptoms, though, the germ can emerge later in on life, usually when a person's immune system is weakened. Because of its knack for picking on the immunocompromised, TB is much more unsafe and occasionally fatal for people who also have HIV. As much as 20 percent of TB strains are multi-drug resistant (MDR), meaning they can rebuff the two frontline drugs used for treatment, rifampicin and isoniazid.

Luckily, it seems, that's a scenario we won't have to worry about here.

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