WMAR reports that a hazmat investigation is underway after tuberculosis was reportedly released into two Johns Hopkins cancer centers.
Two buildings at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, were evacuated on Thursday as people may have been exposed to tuberculosis, according to several media reports. Around 5 p.m., Johns Hopkins announced the buildings had been cleared and the evacuation was lifted.
Scientists studying the world's deadliest diseases got more than they bargained for yesterday when a sample of tuberculosis was accidentally dropped in a closed sky bridge at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Hoppe explained that although the Baltimore Fire Department responded to the incident with hazmat protocols, the sample of tuberculosis did not pose a risk to people at the scene. "We have confirmed that there was no risk to anyone on campus". However, in the United States, the disease is gradually becoming rare.
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Both cancer research buildings were evacuated, according to the statement, and there was no indication that others were exposed. 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.
Tuberculosis, an airborne infectious disease, typically attacks the lungs and can be fatal if left untreated. It can cause a hacking cough that lasts for weeks, chest pain, and a tell-tale coughing up of blood familiar to anyone who's watched Moulin Rouge.
Tuberculosis bacteria are spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or spits, and someone else can breathe in the bacteria and become sick. While many people with latent TB never go on to develop symptoms, though, the germ can emerge later in on life, usually when a person's immune system is weakened.