We are now getting multiple reports that multiple buildings at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland are under evacuation today because of a hazmat situation which was prompted by possible broken vials of the disease tuberculosis.
Hospital officials said earlier that they believe an unspecified number of individuals were exposed to tuberculosis at the hospital at around 12:20 pm EST on Thursday.
The Baltimore City Fire Department is on-scene at 1500 block of Jefferson Street. Caroline Street is presently closed off to any kind of traffic by auto or pedestrian.
A building at the Johns Hopkins Hospital complex has been evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a possible tuberculosis exposure, Baltimore City fire officials tell 11 News. Photos: @dcollinsWBAL pic.twitter.com/qPfl1Z943K
— WBAL Baltimore News (@wbaltv11) July 5, 2018
BREAKING: Baltimore City Fire officials are investigating a hazmat incident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Fox45 has a crew on the scene. pic.twitter.com/aNOteH4PxO
— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) July 5, 2018
Tuberculosis or TB is a serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs and the respiratory system. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. Sometimes from even 30 feet away.
Here is more on TB via The Mayo Clinic:
“Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.
Once rare in developed countries, tuberculosis infections began increasing in 1985, partly because of the emergence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV weakens a person’s immune system so it can’t fight the TB germs. In the United States, because of stronger control programs, tuberculosis began to decrease again in 1993, but remains a concern.
Many strains of tuberculosis resist the drugs most used to treat the disease. People with active tuberculosis must take several types of medications for many months to eradicate the infection and prevent development of antibiotic resistance.
Although your body may harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, your immune system usually can prevent you from becoming sick. For this reason, doctors make a distinction between:
Latent TB. In this condition, you have a TB infection, but the bacteria remain in your body in an inactive state and cause no symptoms. Latent TB, also called inactive TB or TB infection, isn’t contagious. It can turn into active TB, so treatment is important for the person with latent TB and to help control the spread of TB. An estimated 2 billion people have latent TB.
Active TB. This condition makes you sick and can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later.
Signs and symptoms of active TB include:
Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
Coughing up blood
Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
Unintentional weight loss
Loss of appetite
Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of your body, including your kidneys, spine or brain. When TB occurs outside your lungs, signs and symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you have a fever, unexplained weight loss, drenching night sweats or a persistent cough. These are often signs of TB, but they can also result from other medical problems. Your doctor can perform tests to help determine the cause.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have an increased risk of tuberculosis be screened for latent TB infection. This recommendation includes:
People with HIV/AIDS
IV drug users
Those in contact with infected individuals
Health care workers who treat people with a high risk of TB
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.
Although tuberculosis is contagious, it’s not easy to catch. You’re much more likely to get tuberculosis from someone you live with or work with than from a stranger. Most people with active TB who’ve had appropriate drug treatment for at least two weeks are no longer contagious.
HIV and TB
Since the 1980s, the number of cases of tuberculosis has increased dramatically because of the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Infection with HIV suppresses the immune system, making it difficult for the body to control TB bacteria. As a result, people with HIV are many times more likely to get TB and to progress from latent to active disease than are people who aren’t HIV positive.
Another reason tuberculosis remains a major k****r is the increase in drug-resistant strains of the bacterium. Since the first antibiotics were used to fight tuberculosis more than 60 years ago, some TB germs have developed the ability to survive, and that ability gets passed on to their descendants.
Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis emerge when an antibiotic fails to k**l all of the bacteria it targets. The surviving bacteria become resistant to that particular drug and frequently other antibiotics as well. Some TB bacteria have developed resistance to the most commonly used treatments, such as isoniazid and rifampin.
Some strains of TB have also developed resistance to drugs less commonly used in TB treatment, such as the antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones, and injectable medications including amikacin, kanamycin and capreomycin. These medications are often used to treat infections that are resistant to the more commonly used drugs.”
Sadly TB had almost been eradicated in the U.S. during the 70’s and 80’s but in the 90’s when we had an almost open border policy with most underdeveloped nations under President Bill Clinton the disease made a comeback in the U.S. Which begs you to ask the why aren’t we at least testing the people who come here legally, which is something we used to do until the late 90’s.
If you wanted to move here, even legally you had to have a full physical and all kinds of tests for a broad spectrum of diseases, from AIDS to Tuberculosis. If it was contagious they would test for it. Until some power that be decided it was “inhumane” to test immigrants and decided to just open the door to whatever disease was around to plague our nation.
Makes you wonder how the anti-vax left feels about this one, doesn’t it?
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