Atlanta TB case not as severe as thought
Jul 04,2007 00:00 by UPI

DENVER -- It turns out the tuberculosis a globe-trotting Atlanta man contracted is a less severe form of the disease than federal officials had thought.

Doctors at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver said Tuesday new tests show Andrew Speaker does not have the drug-resistant XDR form of TB requiring surgery. Instead, he has a milder form that likely can be treated with medications, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. He remains in isolation in Denver.

An international panic had ensued when it was thought Speaker had the more severe form of TB and could have infected others when he flew to Greece and Italy for his wedding and honeymoon, and returned to Canada before driving back into the United States.

While Speaker said he was never told he was a danger to others and couldn't fly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an isolation order against him because he had XDR TB. The CDC called for testing of passengers from several countries who were exposed to Speaker.

Speaker told CNN he thinks he deserves an apology from the CDC and the agency should apologize for scaring people around the world.

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