TB ON PLANES
ANCHOR LEAD: HOW BIG A THREAT IS TUBERCULOSIS FOR AIR TRAVELERS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The case of a man infected with tuberculosis who traveled internationally by plane received enormous attention, largely because his fellow travelers were worried about catching the disease. Richard Chaisson, a TB expert at Johns Hopkins, says there is historical precedent.
CHAISSON: Tuberculosis on an airplane is infectious, but its not highly infectious. About ten years ago a woman with multidrug resistant tuberculosis boarded a plane here in Baltimore and flew to Hawaii. She ended up infecting four or five of her fellow passengers so out of a planeload of several hundred people a small number did get infected from that individual on that long flight. If it were influenza avian influenza, if it were chicken pox everyone on the plane would have gotten infected. :33
In the case of extremely drug resistant TB, even a few people infected could be deadly. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.