Tuberculosis is one of the most contagious diseases, but on top of that it is extremely serious; if a sick person doesn’t receive proper treatment, the infection can be fatal. People know that they have to put every effort into keeping themselves and their loved ones away from this infection, but how many actually follow all the hygiene rules and keep them safe?
Even if we take good care of ourselves, contaminations with contagious diseases can appear when and where you least expect. Recent facts confirm this rule. On July 6th, a tuberculosis contamination led to the eviction of two buildings from Johns Hopkins Hospital’s campus located in Baltimore.
A spokesman from Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kim Hoppe, declared for Associated Press that a sample of frozen tuberculosis was accidentally released. The incident happened in an internal bridge built between two buildings hosting cancer research. She added that nobody from the campus was infected and there is no risk of that happening in the future.
News published in The Baltimore Sun mention the fact that several employees were near the contaminated area, but officials claim that they weren’t exposed to the bacteria. The executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Landon King, declared that nothing could have happened, since the sample wasn’t larger than a few drops.
Even so, the medical authorities followed the legal protocol and closed both buildings for about an hour, until firefighters and officials from public safety gave them the permission to come back. Safety cannot be neglected in any circumstance, because we are talking about a serious infection.
The latest data from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that, in 2016, more than 9,000 cases of tuberculosis were reported throughout the US. The worldwide statistics give us even more reasons to worry: in the same year, 10.4 million people were infected by the bacteria causing tuberculosis.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca