Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Frozen Tuberculosis Sample Causes Hazmat Situation At Johns Hopkins

Frozen Tuberculosis Sample Causes Hazmat Situation At Johns Hopkins

"Employees were in the area when the incident occurred, and these employees have been isolated and are expected to be evacuated by the fire department", Hoppe said in a statement to Newsweek. The incident initially prompted the evacuation of several buildings, but hospital officials now say no one is at risk of contracting the disease.

Part of Johns Hopkins Hospital's complex in Baltimore was evacuated Thursday afternoon because of possible tuberculosis exposure. The hospital staffs said that a tiny quantity of the germ accidentally released into its facilities during transportation.

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A small amount of frozen tuberculosis was spilled between two hospital buildings.

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 Baltimore City Fire Department was on the scene to make sure it was safe for patients and employees to return to the buildings.

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"In fact, we have determined that there is actually no risk, zero risk to anybody involved".

Tuberculosis is the world's leading infectious killer. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but it can attack other organs, like the kidneys or the brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Not everyone infected with the bacteria will become sick, but the most extreme cases can be fatal. 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. The hospital has verified that they turned off the ventilation system within the hospital immediately after the reported spill because tuberculosis is an airborne bacterial disease that can infect the respiratory system. That same year, 9.272 cases were reported in the United States, and provisional data from 2017 found 9,093 cases. Treatment with antibiotics for four to nine months is required to treat the active disease.

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