A person typically needs prolonged exposure to a person with active TB to become infected, so only plane rides of eight hours or more are of primary concern to health officials, said Shelly Diaz, a CDC spokesperson.
The woman was admitted to the emergency room at Stanford Hospital on Dec. 19. She is currently in stable condition and receiving treatment in an isolation unit, said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the Santa Clara County health officer. The patient will remain in isolation until she is no longer infectious, which could take weeks. MDR-TB is not more infectious but it is difficult to treat, he said, possibly requiring treatment for two years.
World Health Organization guidelines call for people who have MDR-TB to avoid all commercial air travel until a physician advises they are no longer infectious.
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