Johns Hopkins cancer research buildings evacuated after possible TB contamination

Grant Boone
July 8, 2018

Employees were in the area when the incident occurred, and these employees have been isolated and are expected to be evaluated by the Fire Department. The incident initially prompted the evacuation of several buildings, but hospital officials now say no one is at risk of contracting the disease. Authorities said employees on the site do not need to do additional tests as authorities declared no incidence of health risks. The release triggered a heavy emergency response outside the complex of Johns Hopkins hospital buildings, including the shutdown of the two used for cancer research.

The hospital released a statement at around 2 p.m.

Crowds of medical staff streamed out of the hospital on Thursday afternoon after the Baltimore medical facility ordered an evacuation of two buildings after possible tuberculosis exposure.

"We have determined that there is actually no risk, meaning zero risk to anyone involved", said Landon King, the executive vice dean for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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Spokespeople for Johns Hopkins Hospital and the fire department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

There was no indication that others may have been exposed to the tuberculosis, Hoppe said. In the year 2016, only nine thousand two hundred seventy-two cases of TB were reported, which is regarded to be the lowest count recorded till today. Sometimes the germ tends to lie dormant within the body, without causing the disease or spreading.

Tuberculosis is the world's leading infectious killer. TB primarily affects the lungs and can become airborne. The most common symptoms of the disease includes the person suffering with a bad cough for over three weeks, pain in the chest and coughing up sputum or blood. Because of its knack for picking on the immunocompromised, TB is much more risky and occasionally fatal for people who also have HIV. The rates are much lower in the United states, with just over 9,000 cases in the same year. It can be fatal if it goes untreated.

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