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CDC: 107 people on TB flights need tests

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CDC: 107 people on TB flights need tests

Old 06-01-07, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Lara Means


What the hell is the TB man doing with Paris Hilton?
Maybe if Hilton stuffed her bra with cantaloupes. Guessing she makes isolation a tad easier.
Old 06-01-07, 01:34 AM
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Ya just a tad. Lock the damn door, man.
Old 06-01-07, 06:39 AM
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"This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I've cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing."
This made me
Old 06-01-07, 01:02 PM
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Another story here: CNN

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- An Atlanta lawyer infected with a rare, often fatal form of tuberculosis said he has a recording made before he flew to Europe that shows health officials told him he was not a risk to others.

In an interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Andrew Speaker, 31, said his father asked health officials whether Speaker was a risk to anyone, and health officials said he was not. "My dad taped it," he said.

Fulton County, Georgia, health officials have said they told Speaker before his trip not to fly.

Asked about the tape, Steve Katkowsky of the Fulton County Health Department told CNN, "If such a recording was made it was without the consent and without the knowledge of Fulton County Health Department officials."

Speaker said that once he was in Italy, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta informed him that his case was more serious than they had realized.

He had been diagnosed with multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis. But, he was told, final test results found he had an even more rare, extensively drug-resistant form, known as XDR-TB.

Officials told him him not to take commercial aircraft home, he said on "Good Morning America."

"I said, 'What changed?" Speaker related. "When I left I was told I wasn't a threat to anyone. When I left I was told I wasn't contagious, what changed? Why are you abandoning me like this and expecting me to turn myself over for an indefinite time. What has changed?' And they did not have an answer for that."

The CDC is tracking down airline passengers who may have come into contact with Speaker.

The agency has identified about 80 air passengers on two of Speaker's trans-Atlantic flights they believe are most at risk for exposure.

Speaker said he had been told before the beginning of his trip -- which included his wedding -- that in order to fight his illness, "I had one shot, and that was going to be in Denver," at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, which specializes in treating drug-resistant forms of TB. If he was somewhere else and was not given the exact right mixture of drugs, he said, "That was it, they blew my last shot."

Speaker said officials wanted him to check into a treatment center in Rome indefinitely. But he feared that if he did, he might not make it to Denver. "It is a very real threat that I could have died" in Italy, he said.

He flew from Prague to Montreal, apparently in order to sidestep a no-fly order that could have stopped or delayed his return to North America. Once in Canada, Speaker and his wife drove across the border to New York, where he was treated at a hospital before being flown aboard a CDC jet to Atlanta. He was moved to Denver Thursday.

Apologizing to all those now fearing for their own health after having been on airplanes with him, Speaker said, "I just hope they understand that truly in our minds we were told that we were not a threat to the people around us, and we wanted to get home."

"I am very sorry for your fear, and putting you at risk. I don't expect those people to ever forgive me," he said tearfully.

Asked about remarks by health officials that they had been looking at another option to get him back to the United States from Italy, he responded, "That is a complete lie."

Hiring a private jet would have cost $100,000, which he did not have, Speaker said.

Speaker's wife Sarah Cooksey told ABC she had pleaded for any kind of transportation, including a military vessel.

The televised interview was the first for Speaker, a personal injury lawyer, since word of his diagnosis sparked international concern. Both he and ABC's Diane Sawyer had their mouths covered by masks, but Cooksey sat beside him with no mask on.

Thinking back on his decision to return to the United States on commercial jets, Speaker said, "In hindsight, maybe it wasn't the best decision."
Lawmaker: 'The system failed'

On Thursday, a senior House member said he wants to know how Speaker got through U.S. Customs and Border Protection even though his passport had been flagged in its computer system.

His passport was checked at the U.S.-Canada border, a Homeland Security official told CNN.

An alert that Speaker should be detained and isolated, and public health officials should be contacted, showed up on the Customs and Border Protection's computers, but he was allowed to cross into the United States at Champlain, New York, anyway, the official said.

Speaker was at the border crossing for less than two minutes. (Watch how patient slipped past authorities Video)

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, has scheduled a hearing for next week.

"We had two agencies that should have been in constant communication with each other, and obviously the system failed," Thompson said on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now."


People with XDR-TB are resistant to first- and second-line drugs; their treatment options are limited and the disease often proves fatal.

Between 1993 and 2006, 49 people were diagnosed with XDR-TB in the United States, said Dr. Ken Castro, director of the division of TB Elimination at the CDC.

The World Health Organization estimates that there were almost half a million cases of multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis worldwide in 2004.
Yikes, this is like a movie plot.


Heck, how long until they MAKE a movie of this guy's story?


.
Old 06-01-07, 02:10 PM
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He's a personal injury lawyer. His quotes reek of self-entitlement. He pushes and pushes for answers ambiguous enough to "let him off the hook" enough to do the things he's already decided to do. He garnered a quote ambiguous enough to do his little ME FIRST routine and fly to Europe, and then did the same thing against orders to fly home.

Let's hope he gets sued to death by a thousand *other* personal injury lawyers.
Old 06-01-07, 02:26 PM
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Yeah, the guy sounds like a real a-hole.

The quote from abcnews says it all.

Speaker said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations advised him against travel but didn't stop him.
Sheesh, he was on a no fly list and a border agent even red-flagged him. Besides these things, what were these doctors supposed to do to stop him?
Old 06-01-07, 02:40 PM
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In an interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Andrew Speaker, 31, said his father asked health officials whether Speaker was a risk to anyone, and health officials said he was not. "My dad taped it," he said.
Why would his dad be taping the conversation?
Old 06-01-07, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bigsoos
Why would his dad be taping the conversation?
1) He's an attorney and naturally suspicious, and 2) he planned to fly regardless of them "advising" him not to.

He sounds like a jerk, more concerned with his plans, but then again, it says his vacation plans included his own wedding, which would be hard to reschedule. He probably figured he was OK because they didn't literally stop him from flying, but he taped it because he's suspicious by nature and a P.I. attorney used to needing info like this in cases.
Old 06-01-07, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bigsoos
Why would his dad be taping the conversation?
Not sure where the conversation took place, but isn't it possible that taping the conversation was illegal unless all parties were aware?
Old 06-01-07, 05:30 PM
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Well boys, this is it. The start of the zombie invasion.
Old 06-01-07, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoveler
Not sure where the conversation took place, but isn't it possible that taping the conversation was illegal unless all parties were aware?
Absolutely.

Sounds like someone was looking to get out of trouble if shit hit the fan...
Old 06-01-07, 06:55 PM
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ya got to blame the new wife some too.. I don't know that many guys who are really over hyped on details etc of the wedding plans in the first place..

odds are she was the whiner wanting this and that over there etc etc.. If she had said no I really doubt the guy they would have gone.

the attitude of the guy that he was told he had TB but it was not a big deal is what I find to be TOTAL bs..

my grandmother is in her 90's now and blah blah long story short she still test positive on a TB skin test being she was exposed when she was like 5. Even when the family tells the doctor she will, soon as it comes back TB positive (as we would said would) they tend to sort of freak out. Nursing home would not let her in with out a chest xray.. Like not in at all even when we had an xray from a few years ago. They needed one from "now" and acted like she could kill everything around her Outbreak style.

soooooooooo I have a really hard time with the line of BS this guy is throwing around now about how he thought it was no big deal to have TB and go running around.
Old 06-01-07, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Shazam
Well boys, this is it. The start of the zombie invasion.

When did this story break? How many until we hit 28 Days?
Old 06-01-07, 08:47 PM
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I'll take the other side, and I tend to believe him. If he's to be believed they told him he wasn't contagious and did not tell him NOT to travel, they just recommended against it. His father (in law?) may have a tape?

Once he was there and they told him 'OMG! Ponies!' then I can understand why he did what he did. The kindly US bureaucracy was going to dump him in an Italian hospital to die and he thought his only hope was in the US, in Denver.

I wouldn't be happy to know I was on his flight, or someone I knew was, but ultimately the only person responsible for his health was him. The CDC didn't seem to interested in getting him back to help HIM, just in keeping him isolated to protect everyone else.

The combination of of a federal bureaucracy and the health care bureaucracy would have been a death sentence.

Again, this assumes what he's stated, regarding what they told him & when, was true.
Old 06-01-07, 08:59 PM
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Speaker said he had been told before the beginning of his trip -- which included his wedding -- that in order to fight his illness, "I had one shot, and that was going to be in Denver," at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, which specializes in treating drug-resistant forms of TB. If he was somewhere else and was not given the exact right mixture of drugs, he said, "That was it, they blew my last shot."
You know, if I was told that, I think I would fly to Denver, not Europe. The story proceeds downhill from there.
Old 06-01-07, 09:25 PM
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So, now it appears he didn't actually get married in Europe, which raises the question, why was he so damned determined to fly there against medical advice, instead of the one place that could save him (supposedly).

It also doesn't sound like any family members participated in the "wedding" or that either had family there.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/condi...ght/index.html
DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- An Atlanta tuberculosis patient who may have defied health officials' warnings by going on a wedding trip to Europe appears not to have gotten married, a Greek official said Friday.

Mayor Angelos Roussos of Santorini, Greece, said a clerk from the municipality office informed him that Andrew Speaker and his fiancee, Sarah Cooksey, did not have the necessary paperwork for a civil marriage.

"He made no previous contact with the town hall about arranging a civil marriage," Roussos said. "So the wedding never happened. He stayed instead at a hotel for two days, the Majestic Hotel, before setting back for the United States. It was his first time here."

Roussos said he didn't talk with Speaker.

The couple's wedding announcement in a Fulton County, Georgia, newspaper in April said, "A May wedding in Santorini, Greece, and an extended honeymoon in Europe are planned."
Old 06-02-07, 01:07 AM
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sounds like this "very well educated" douchebag is pretty much a moron.
Old 06-02-07, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Shoveler
Not sure where the conversation took place, but isn't it possible that taping the conversation was illegal unless all parties were aware?
Assuming it was a telephone call, Georgia is a one-party state. Recording conversations is not illegal as long as 1) all parties were located in Georgia and 2) at least one person knew it was being recorded.
Old 06-02-07, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
So, now it appears he didn't actually get married in Europe, which raises the question, why was he so damned determined to fly there against medical advice, instead of
because his girlfriend (wife now, maybe) is sort of hot looking and really wanted to go? Will not be the first time (or the last) some guy does something really, really stupid for "a hot chick"..

I'm also sure he never thought this was going to be world news and his 15min of fame.. Worst case, I'm guessing, he thought he might get a doctor bitching him out a little bit and nothing else.

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