Baltimore: hospital evacuated due to tuberculosis threat

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

The Baltimore City Fire Department responded to the bridge that connects the Cancer Research Building 1 and Cancer Research Building 2, both of which are not connected to the main hospital.

Hospital officials said two buildings were evacuated and some people who had been exposed were sheltering in place, according to the local NBC affiliate WBAL.

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The Wall Street Journal said that both buildings reopened just after 4 p.m. this afternoon after it was determined that there was no risk.

A small amount of frozen tuberculosis was spilled between two hospital buildings.

Hospital employees said that a fire alarm was pulled and they were told to evacuate. "So far, all indications are that no other individuals have been exposed, however the buildings will remain evacuated until cleared by public safety officials".

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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.

"About one-quarter of the world's population is believed to be infected with TB bacteria, but fewer than 10,000 cases are reported each year in the U.S".

Tuberculosis is an airborne disease that usually affects the lungs, but it can also impact the brain, kidneys or spine, according to the US National Library of Medicine. TB could result in hacking cough, which tends to continue up to weeks.

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Tuberculosis resurfaced in developed countries like the United States since 1985 due to the spread of the HIV. Although people having latent tuberculosis do not develop the symptoms, yet the germ could appear at a later part of life, generally when the immune system of the person is weakened.

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