Tuberculosis spill prompts mass evacuation at Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore evacuated due to possible TB exposureMore

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore evacuated due to possible TB exposureMore

"So far, all indications are that no other individuals have been exposed, however the buildings will remain evacuated until cleared by public safety officials".

Baltimore City Fire has secured Johns Hopkins Hospital after people in one building may have been exposed to tuberculosis during the transfer of a frozen vial between buildings.

The possible tuberculosis exposure occurred in an internal bridge connecting two cancer research buildings on Thursday, according to a spokesperson for the medical center in Baltimore.

A small amount of frozen tuberculosis sample accidentally dropped at an internal bridge located between two cancer research buildings of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, said Kim Hoppe, a spokeswoman, via an email. We cannot confirm if the entire building was evacuated, however from Chopper 13 we can see a large group of people being escorted out of the building.

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Baltimore fire officials were not immediately available for comment. Authorities said employees on the site do not need to do additional tests as authorities declared no incidence of health risks. The incident initially prompted the evacuation of several buildings, but hospital officials now say no one is at risk of contracting the disease.

Tuberculosis is the world's leading infectious killer.

Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a unsafe airborne disease which spreads easily via air. The AIDS-causing HIV virus weakens the immune system that it is unable to fight the tuberculosis bacteria, according to Mayo Clinic.

Over 9,000 tuberculosis cases were reported in the U.S. in the year 2016, as per the latest report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As CDC notes, over 10 million people were diagnosed with TB in 2016, and 1.7 million of those patients lost their lives as a result. It can be fatal if it goes untreated.

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