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  1. #1
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    Angry The TB Terrorist

    Officials Seek Travelers Exposed to Rare TB
    By William Branigin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, May 30, 2007; 6:06 PM


    Health authorities in the United States and abroad are looking for about 100 passengers and crew from two transatlantic flights who may have been exposed to a rare, potentially deadly strain of tuberculosis by an Atlanta man who ignored warnings not to travel on commercial airliners, officials said today.

    Officials of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday that they had detained the man and quarantined him after he spent two weeks traveling among cities in the United States, Europe and Canada.

    The man, currently under a federal isolation order in an Atlanta hospital, took a total of seven flights to and from Europe this month with his fiancee, but he is not believed to have posed a significant risk to people on five short flights, CDC officials told a news conference today.

    In fact, said Martin Cetron, director of the CDC's Global Migration and Quarantine Division, "the patient continues to feel well and be asymptomatic."

    "We believe that his degree of infectiousness is quite low," Cetron said.

    Nevertheless, the consequences of spreading the type of tuberculosis the man has are so severe that the CDC is working with foreign airlines and health officials to contact 27 crew members on the two transatlantic flights and as many as 80 passengers who sat near him so that they can undergo testing.

    Officials said the man's fiancee has tested negative for tuberculosis so far but that she needs follow-up testing because the TB bacterium has a long incubation period.

    The man, who has a form of the disease called "extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis," or XDR-TB, disobeyed a CDC warning not to fly home on a commercial airliner from Rome and instead took a circuitous route to evade a U.S. no-fly order, flying to Prague and Montreal, then driving into the United States, officials said. The federal isolation order, the first since 1963, was issued when the man arrived in New York City. He checked into an isolation unit at a hospital in the city, and then was flown in a CDC jet to Atlanta, where he is now in respiratory isolation at Grady Memorial Hospital with an armed sheriff's deputy outside his door.

    The CDC has declined to identify the man, citing his privacy. Although there were conflicting accounts of whether he was explicitly told not to travel to Europe, Cetron said today that "no legal order" was in place to prevent his departure and that "the patient had, from his own perspective, a compelling reason to travel."

    According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Fulton County man and his fiancee flew to Europe for a long-planned wedding and honeymoon. The man told the newspaper that his tuberculosis was detected by accident in January and that he met with county health officials before his planned trip. He said the health department told him they "preferred" that he not travel but never told him outright that he could not fly to Greece and Italy for his wedding and honeymoon.

    Cetron said, however, that the Fulton County health department "clearly told him not to travel" and that a written statement to that effect was prepared, but that it did not reach the man before he left.

    After receiving test results that showed the man had the most serious form of TB, a CDC quarantine officer contacted him in Rome and told him he should not fly on commercial airliners, Cetron said. He said the CDC at that time was "exploring all sorts of options" to isolate the man temporarily in Rome and get him back to the United States safely, but that when an emissary went to his Rome hotel to give him more information, "he was no longer there."

    The man told the Atlanta newspaper that he and his bride cut short their honeymoon but balked at what he said was a CDC staffer's directive to turn himself in to Italian health authorities and go into isolation and treatment in Italy for an indefinite period.

    "I thought to myself: 'You're nuts.' I wasn't going to do that," the paper quoted the man as saying. "They told me I had been put on the no-fly list and my passport was flagged." He said he was also told that the CDC declined to provide a jet to fly him home, citing budget constraints.

    He told the paper that he feared he would die if he were forced to remain in Italy instead of returning promptly to the United States for treatment. And he complained about having an armed officer enforcing his isolation.

    "I'm a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person," the newspaper quoted the man as saying. "This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I've cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary confinement in Italy thing."

    Cetron said health officials' priority is to contact 18 crew members and 40 to 50 passengers on Air France Flight 385 from Atlanta to Paris on May 12, as well as about nine crew and about 30 passengers on Czech Air Flight 0104 from Prague to Montreal on May 24. The passengers are those who sat in the same row with the man and two rows behind and in front of him. Cetron said the man likely sat in row 51 on the Air France flight, which was also listed as Delta Air Lines codeshare flight 8517 and arrived in Paris on May 13, and that he sat in seat 12-C on the Czech Air flight.

    The focus is on those flights because they lasted more than eight hours, said Kenneth G. Castro, assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service and director of the CDC's Division of Tuberculosis Elimination.

    Tuberculosis is spread from one person to another "with prolonged and continued exposure," Castro said, and flights shorter than eight hours -- or "casual contact" in a line in an airport terminal, for example -- "do not pose a significant risk."
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  2. #2
    BEB
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    The missing part of this story is how he got infected in the first place.

  3. #3
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    The missing part of this story is how he got infected in the first place.
    So far, they aren't revealing his identity.

    TB is a big issue here, with the constant flow of immigrants, there is constant testing.

    As a school employee, I had to get tested every two years.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  4. #4
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    The real problem is the incubation period. People think they are "okay" because an initial test comes back negative or because they feel okay.
    And Shepards we shall be,
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    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
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  5. #5
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    I understand the need for him to be quarantined, but to try to isolate him in a foreign country is bullshit. I don't think I'd turn myself in to foreign authorities either.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  6. #6
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackalope View Post
    I understand the need for him to be quarantined, but to try to isolate him in a foreign country is bullshit. I don't think I'd turn myself in to foreign authorities either.
    No other way to get him home safe. Kind of tough to transport someone in an isolation chamber. Very expensive. I can understand where both are coming from, but honestly, the guy acted pretty irresponsibly.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  7. #7
    Norm357's Avatar
    Norm357 is offline Corporal
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    Terrorist?
    dlefdal said:
    Ummmm, what if I don't like thumbs in my butt?

  8. #8
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm357 View Post
    Terrorist?
    Meh, I was gonna call him TB Tommy, but when you think about it, sounds like reckless disregard for the lives of others.

    He deliberately dodged around security points to get back to America, because he knew how important treatment would be.

    Don't most terrorists hurt innocent people because they think they/their cause is more important?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  9. #9
    BEB
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    Respectfully, I disagree. What a terrorist is depends on who you ask, but I think most would agree terrorist invoke terror for political/social gain.

    People who risk the welfare of others for their own interests are self-absorbed, not terrorists.

    2¢

  10. #10
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    People who risk the welfare of others for their own interests are self-absorbed, not terrorists.
    Read as:

    Stupid?
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  11. #11
    BEB
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    Stupid works.

  12. #12
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/tb.htm

    Interesting info about TB.

    Whether he had any goal other then to indulge in his own plans, he certainly instilled terror in a large number of people.

    They all need to be tested, repeatedly, since there can be an extended incubation period.

    So far, the only treatment they've come up with for the drug-resistant strain is a 2 year course of chemotherapy.

    Maybe I should have called him a Human WMD?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  13. #13
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    I still like just stupid.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  14. #14
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conalabu View Post
    I still like just stupid.
    That too!

    And.....


    Future Darwin winner?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  15. #15
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    That too!

    And.....


    Future Darwin winner?
    agreed. We have a weiner. Er. Winner.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  16. #16
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post

    "I'm a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person," the newspaper quoted the man as saying. "This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I've cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary confinement in Italy thing."
    Add self-absorbed, selfish bastard to this list. He apparantly doesn't take his illness seriously, and decided to prove that point by potentially exposing a dozen others to the same deadly germs. He's not really any different than someone who has unprotected sex with someone else, while knowingly being infected with an STD.
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  17. #17
    BEB
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    Again, I respectfully disagree. (and soon none of the ladies of LEF will want to talk to me)

    Having unprotected sex, aside from rape, involves consensual intimate contact. At present the only time that is expected for a commercial flight is during the TSA screening.

    Ok, so I'm being a smartass now. "Stupid" is still sounding about right.

  18. #18
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    He was properly warned by doctors that he would be a danger to others who he came into contact with...

    So I think he could be convicted of Aggravated Assault in some states, if anyone is found to be infected by him.

    He needs to be charged with some type of assault, deadly conduct, or reckless disregard, even if he didn't affect anyone. I hope they can find something in the Penal Code or Health Code to charge him with - They could probably select from charges in multiple jurisdictions, including Federal.

    Under Texas Penal Code:
    "Bodily injury means physical pain, illness, or
    any impairment of physical condition.
    "

    "Serious bodily injury means bodily injury that
    creates a substantial risk of death
    or that causes death, serious
    permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the
    function of any bodily member or organ."

    22.02. AGGRAVATED ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an
    offense if the person commits assault as defined in 22.01 and
    the person:
    (1) causes serious bodily injury to another...
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 05-31-07 at 01:32 AM.

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  19. #19
    countybear's Avatar
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    The longer I live, seeing the rampant disregard for the safety of others in pursuit of selfish desires never ceases to leave me astounded. This man was diagnosed before he even went to Europe in the first place. He surpasses stupid, he is dangerously and grossly, (imho, criminally) negligent. At least a plague rat can claim ignorance. He has no excuse.

    He should be buried in a solid waste landfill while still alive.

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  20. #20
    Illiy is offline Corporal
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    He was properly warned by doctors that he would be a danger to others who he came into contact with...

    So I think he could be convicted of Aggravated Assault in some states, if anyone is found to be infected by him.
    That is what gets me... HE KNEW HE SHOULDN'T BE TRAVELING!

    I would be tweaked if I was the one on that flight...

 

 
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