The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Monday that a woman with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis (TB) traveled to several places in and out of the U.S., sending many people into a panic.
The woman in question traveled in April from India to the U.S. via Chicago and also spent time in Missouri and Tennessee; seven weeks after arriving she sought medical help and was diagnosed.
Currently, those who may have had close or prolonged contact with the woman, like those siting in the same row on the plane, are being located and informed.
Tom Skinner, a spokesperson at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that: “The likelihood that this person transmitted the illness is low, but this is a very serious illness so we can’t take any chances, and need to get the close contacts in for testing”
He also said that: “”TB is a very serious illness and the XDRTB version is difficult to treat.”
Tuberculosis is a potentially serious and deadly infectious disease that affects the lungs and is spread through the air;in some cases it can also affect the kidneys, brain and spine.
An infected person can spread it from coughing sneezing or even singing.
It can be treated with medications, but this strain is particularly hard to cure because it is resistant to many of the drugs that normally work..
Since TB can take up to 8 weeks to show up in testing it is important for anyone who was in contact to see their doctor and get evaluated.
Anyone who is worried about being exposed can go to their doctor and have a test taken.
The woman in question is being treated and in stable condition at the National Institutes of Heath Clinical Center in Maryland, the CDC said.
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