Tuberculosis scare forces evacuations at Johns Hopkins Hospital

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Two buildings on the campus of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore were evacuated because of a tuberculosis contamination.

Kim Hoppe, a spokeswoman with Johns Hopkins Medicine, told The Associated Press a small sample of frozen tuberculosis was “inadvertently released” in an internal bridge between two cancer research buildings. However, Hoppe said there was “no risk” of infection to any one on campus.

According to The Baltimore Sun, there were employees nearby when the contamination happened, but officials believe no one was exposed to the bacteria.

Dr. Landon King, executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the Sun the sample was equal to a few drops.

Both buildings were closed for about four hours as firefighters and public safety officials checked to confirm it was safe to return.

Tuberculosis is an airborne bacteria spread through the air. Common symptoms include a bad cough lasting longer than 3 weeks, chest pain, and coughing up blood or sputum. Without proper treatment, it can be fatal.

More than 9,000 cases of tuberculosis were reported in the United States in 2016, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide, the bacteria infected 10.4 million people.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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