Johns Hopkins Evacuates Two Lab Buildings After Release Of Tuberculosis Research Sample

Faith Castro
July 9, 2018

"The Baltimore City Fire and Rescue unit initiated hazmat protocols and, out of an abundance of caution, both research buildings were evacuated".

A Johns Hopkins spokesman said the building has been cleared of any contamination and they have confirmed that they was no risk to anyone inside the building.

Employees at the two cancer buildings in Johns Hopkins Hospital were evacuated on July 5 due to an accidental release of bacteria from tuberculosis vials.

Officials reported that the frozen sample of tuberculosis from the dropped tube did not pose a risk to the medical campus.

A small sample of frozen tuberculosis was accidentally released when it was being transported on a bridge between two research buildings around 2 p.m.

According to WBAL, she said that a small sample of frozen tuberculosis was released in an area of the hospital that does not house patients.

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Still, the fire department speculated that the sample could spread through the heating and cooling system, so they immediately shut it down, King told the paper.

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

In 2016, about 10.5 million people became ill around the world with tuberculosis, and the disease killed 1.7 million people. In the United States, however, it's steadily become a rarity. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.

Symptoms include coughing up blood, fever, chills, night sweats, shortness of breath, chest pains, weight loss and fatigue. As much as 20 percent of TB strains are multi-drug resistant (MDR), meaning they can rebuff the two frontline drugs used for treatment, rifampicin and isoniazid.

Luckily, it seems, that's a scenario we won't have to worry about here.

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