Johns Hopkins Hospital research buildings evacuated for possible tuberculosis exposure

Johns Hopkins Hospital research buildings evacuated for possible tuberculosis exposure

Two cancer research buildings at the Johns Hopkins Hospital complex in downtown Baltimore were evacuated Thursday afternoon after "small amount of tuberculosis" might have been accidentally released, a hospital spokesperson said.

On Thursday, the Baltimore ABC affiliate reports that the David Koch Cancer Research Building at Johns Hopkins Hospital has been evacuated for a hazmat situation.

According to WBAL, the incident involved a small vial of a frozen sample of tuberculosis being dropped onto the floor and having its lid fall off.

This is an ongoing investigation. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of tuberculosis include coughing, chest pain, fatigue, fever and loss of appetite.

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But hospital authorities later said that there was "zero risk" to patients and hospital personnel and that testing would not occur. "As a cautionary measure, both Cancer Research Buildings have been evacuated".

Dajuan Robinson is a Johns Hopkins Hospital employee who said he got a text message right after the leak was identified.

In 2016, about 10.5 million people became ill around the world with tuberculosis, and the disease killed 1.7 million people. The hospital has verified that they turned off the ventilation system within the hospital immediately after the reported spill because tuberculosis is an airborne bacterial disease that can infect the respiratory system.

Hoppe explained that although the Baltimore Fire Department responded to the incident with hazmat protocols, the sample of tuberculosis did not pose a risk to people at the scene. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If the person is not treated properly then the disease can be fatal.

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