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Saturday, December 29, 2007

American Airlines Flight 293 Passengers Tracked Down For Possible Infection By Dangerous Strain of Tuberculosis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a California woman boarded an American Airlines flight in New Delhi, India, on December 13th. The flight stopped at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport before continuing on to San Francisco. Santa Clara County Public Health Department and CDC officials are working on tracking down 44 people who sat within two rows of the woman on the flight 293. She is being treated in isolation at a California hospital.
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.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A.
Public Inquiries: (404) 498-1515 / (800) 311-3435

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