Johns Hopkins evacuated after staff accidentally drops deadly tuberculosis sample

07 Julio, 2018, 01:04 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • Credit David Collins  WBAL-TV 11

A building at Johns Hopkins Hospital was evacuated Thursday due to possible tuberculosis contamination, according to the hospital.

Fire crews are on the scene at Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore after reports that people may have been exposed to tuberculosis when vials there were broken. The incident initially prompted the evacuation of several buildings, but hospital officials now say no one is at risk of contracting the disease.

Both cancer research buildings were evacuated, according to the statement, and there was no indication that others were exposed.

Baltimore fire officials were not immediately available for comment. Some employees said they were told not to walk down a certain hallway.

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The building's air circulation systems were shut down shortly after the sample exposure to prevent the airborne disease from spreading, effectively isolating it. It has always been on the decline in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were 9,272 U.S. cases in 2016.

But hospital authorities later said that there was "zero risk" to patients and hospital personnel and that testing would not occur. It's possible to be infected with TB without getting ill, in which case it can still be spread. It can cause a hacking cough that lasts for weeks, chest pain, and a tell-tale coughing up of blood familiar to anyone who's watched Moulin Rouge. More often, it instead lies dormant in the body, incapable of causing disease or being spreadable.

The TB sample was being used for research. It can be fatal if it goes untreated. Two percent are extensively drug-resistant, meaning they can resist almost every available antibiotic in modern use.

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