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Passengers get tuberculosis warning on US Airways flight: Man with TB on plane

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A tuberculosis warning went out to passengers aboard US Airways Flight 2846 from Austin to Phoenix on Saturday night. The passengers were told to get tuberculosis tests after they landed because an ill passenger was allowed to board the flight before anyone knew of his medical status, according to ABC News on Dec. 2.

Passengers on board Flight 2846 said the plane was “swarming with paramedics and police” upon landing. Besides being advised to get a tuberculosis test, the passengers were told to follow-up with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

When the plane landed it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who the carrier of tuberculosis was. The paramedics and police removed a man off the flight. They were wearing masks and gloves while doing so.

“As we were taxiing, a stewardess came down the aisle,” passenger Dean Davidson said. “She had a mask and she instructed the gentleman to put a mask on.”

The plane had already departed from Austin when the warning came from the CDC that there was a person on board who had a medical condition. No one knew what that medical condition was until the paramedics and firemen boarded the plane in Phoenix and told everyone that they were exposed to tuberculosis. There wasn’t a flagging system that picked up this ill person’s name when he boarded the plane.

TB is a bacterial infection of the lungs and it is contagious. The disease can be deadly. The CDC told ABC News that “even if the passenger has tuberculosis, exposure to other passengers would be unlikely.”

“We believe there is very low risk of anyone being exposed to tuberculosis.”

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