May 29, 2007

I DON’T LIKE THIS NEWS:

A man with a rare and exceptionally dangerous form of tuberculosis has been placed in quarantine by the U.S. government after possibly exposing passengers and crew on two trans-Atlantic flights this month, health officials said Tuesday. It is the first time since 1963 that the government issued a quarantine order. The last such order was to quarantine a patient with smallpox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC urged people on the same flights to get checked for tuberculosis.

The government issued the order after a CDC official reached the man by phone in Italy and told him not to take commercial flights, but he flew back to North America anyway, said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the CDC’s division of global migration and quarantine. . . . The man was infected with “extensively drug-resistant” TB, also called XDR-TB. It resists many drugs used to treat the infection. Last year, there were two U.S. cases of that strain.

Ugh. (Via Michael Silence).