Johns Hopkins Hospital buildings evacuated after 'inadvertent' tuberculosis release

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore

Scientists studying the world's deadliest diseases got more than they bargained for yesterday when a sample of tuberculosis was accidentally dropped in a closed sky bridge at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

A small amount of tuberculosis may have been released while it was being transported in an internal bridge between Cancer Research Building 1 and Cancer Research Building 2, according to a statement from the hospital.

Two buildings at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, were evacuated on Thursday because people may have been exposed to tuberculosis, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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

Hospital employees said that a fire alarm was pulled and they were told to evacuate.

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TB is spread through the air and typically attacks the lungs.

The most recent data from the CDC shows that tuberculosis cases have seen a decline in recent years, with just 9,272 cases reported in the United States in 2016.

Symptoms include coughing up blood, fever, chills, night sweats, shortness of breath, chest pains, weight loss and fatigue.

Earlier today, a small sample of frozen tuberculosis that was being used for research purposes was inadvertently released in a non-patient area.

The two buildings remained off limits for several hours, and were reopened after public safety officials and infectious disease experts gave the all-clear, according to the report. We have confirmed that there was no risk to anyone on campus. Because of its knack for picking on the immunocompromised, TB is much more unsafe and occasionally fatal for people who also have HIV.

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