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Baltimore: hospital evacuated due to tuberculosis threat

07 July 2018

"There was a small tube that contained a frozen sample, and it was dropped and the lid came off while the sample was still frozen inside", Dr. Landon King, executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told the outlet.

The two buildings connected by the internal bridge - Cancer Research Building 1 and Cancer Research Building 2 - were evacuated as a precaution, Hoppe said. Some employees said they were told not to walk down a certain hallway. Officials did not say how it might have been released.

Fire officials confirmed the hazmat situation began around 12:22 p.m. People were evacuated from both cancer research buildings as a precaution, while hazmat crews suited up to go inside and contain the contamination. Public safety officials as well as infectious disease experts have now cleared the buildings, and the evacuation has been lifted. The Baltimore City Fire Department is now on-scene at 1500 block of Jefferson Street. In the U.S., however, it's steadily become a rarity.

Tuberculosis is a highly contagious bacteria that can be spread through the air. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. Symptoms of TB infection include fever and bloody coughing, and treatment can take six months or even longer. More often, it instead lies dormant in the body, incapable of causing disease or being spreadable.

Because the buildings were used for research, no patients were in either building, according to the report. Because of its knack for picking on the immunocompromised, TB is much more unsafe and occasionally fatal for people who also have HIV.

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

Baltimore: hospital evacuated due to tuberculosis threat