Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
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Johns Hopkins hospital buildings evacuated after possible release of tuberculosis today

Johns Hopkins hospital buildings evacuated after possible release of tuberculosis today

The Baltimore City Fire Department is now investigating the release of tuberculosis, which was being transported in an internal bridge connecting two cancer research buildings, according to a statement from Kim Hoppe, a spokesperson for the hospital.

The Baltimore City Fire and Rescue unit initiated hazmat protocols and, out of an abundance of caution, both research buildings were evacuated. "So far, all indications are that no other individuals have been exposed, however the buildings will remain evacuated until cleared by public safety officials", she added. "The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes", reads an overview of the disease from the Mayo Clinic.

Kim Hoppe, a spokeswoman with Johns Hopkins Medicine, said a small sample of frozen tuberculosis was "inadvertently released" in an internal bridge between two cancer research buildings that don't connect to the hospital. Soon after, a fire alarm was pulled and employees were evacuated.


But hospital authorities later said that there was "zero risk" to patients and hospital personnel and that testing would not occur. The Baltimore City Fire Department is now on-scene at 1500 block of Jefferson Street.

Tuberculosis, usually caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is one of the deadliest infectious diseases worldwide, infecting 10 million and killing at least 1.7 million people in 2016 alone, according to the American Centers for Disease Control.

Not everyone infected with the bacteria will become sick, but the most extreme cases can be fatal. Treatment with antibiotics for four to nine months is required to treat the active disease. And some strains, doctors have speculated, are even totally untreatable.

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