October 20, 2018

Possible Tuberculosis Exposure Causes Hazmat Situation At Johns Hopkins

08 July 2018, 10:27 | Silvia Roy

Possible Tuberculosis Exposure Causes Hazmat Situation At Johns Hopkins

Possible Tuberculosis Exposure Causes Hazmat Situation At Johns Hopkins

Two Johns Hopkins Hospital buildings in Baltimore had to be evacuated today after it was determined that a small amount of frozen tuberculosis had been spilled on a footbridge between two buildings.

A statement from the hospital said the bacteria, used primarily for medical research, may have been inadvertently released while in transit.

Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a risky airborne disease which spreads easily via air.

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The CDC says many people in the world have been exposed to tuberculosis, as it is easily spread through coughing or spittle.

The all-clear has been given on the Johns Hopkins campus after a hazmat scare Thursday after a small tube with a frozen sample of tuberculosis was dropped and the lid came off. The sample fell somewhere on an internal bridge, which connects the Cancer Research Building 1 of the hospital to the Cancer Research Building 2.

Hospital employees said that a fire alarm was pulled and they were told to evacuate.

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Fire officials also commended Johns Hopkins for taking immediate action and shutting down the HVAC system when the incident occurred.

Approximately 10.4 million people globally became sick with tuberculosis in the same year. "So far, all indications are that no other individuals have been exposed, however, the buildings will remain evacuated until cleared by public safety officials", the statement read. Authorities said employees on the site do not need to do additional tests as authorities declared no incidence of health risks. However, in the United States, the disease is gradually becoming rare. In 2016, only 9,272 TB cases were reported, the lowest toll recorded yet.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a serious airborne infection. The most common symptoms of the disease includes the person suffering with a bad cough for over three weeks, pain in the chest and coughing up sputum or blood.

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