Monday, 18 February, 2019

Johns Hopkins: Tuberculosis Exposure Reported At Baltimore Hospital, Hazmat Crews On Scene

Credit David Collins  WBAL-TV 11 Credit David Collins WBAL-TV 11
Gustavo Carr | 07 July, 2018, 01:10

One of the world's deadliest diseases - tuberculosis - made a rare stateside appearance Thursday.

The Baltimore City Fire Department is now investigating the release of tuberculosis, which was being transported in an internal bridge connecting two cancer research buildings, according to a statement from Kim Hoppe, a spokesperson for the hospital.

Fire officials confirmed the hazmat situation began around 12:22 p.m. People were evacuated from both cancer research buildings as a precaution, while hazmat crews suited up to go inside and contain the contamination.

The two buildings connected by the internal bridge - Cancer Research Building 1 and Cancer Research Building 2 - were evacuated as a precaution, Hoppe said. The sample was "equivalent to a few drops", according to Dr. Landon King, executive vice dean of the school.

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A spokeswoman for the fire department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. "So far, all indications are that no other individuals have been exposed, however the buildings will remain evacuated until cleared by public safety officials", she added.

Hospital employees told 11 News that a fire alarm was pulled and they were subsequently told to evacuate 1501 Jefferson St.

The building's air circulation systems were shut down shortly after the sample exposure to prevent the airborne disease from spreading, effectively isolating it. In 2016, only 9,272 TB cases were reported, the lowest toll recorded yet. 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. "If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal".