Drug-Resistant TB Patient Flies Commercial

Carrier crossed Atlantic twice, putting passengers at risk
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2007 6:02 AM CDT
Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A man infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis boarded two transatlantic flights in two weeks, CNN reports, putting his fellow passengers at risk. Planes are equipped with air filters that should catch the rod-shaped TB bacili, but the CDC recommends anyone on Air France 385, from Atlanta to Paris May 12, or Czech Air 0104, Prague to Montreal May 24, get tested.

The man, who has few symptoms, knew he had TB and ignored his doctors' advice not to travel, but apparently neither he nor physicians were aware it was the drug-resistant strain. "The man had compelling reasons to travel and made the decision to go ahead," explained the director of the CDC. Those seated nearest the patient are at the most risk.