Test Results Indicate Less Severe Form Of TB
The lawyer who caused an international health scare in May when
he continued with his transatlantic travel plans for his wedding,
despite a tuberculosis diagnosis, has now been found to be infected
with a far less dangerous form of the disease than originally
Andrew Speaker was diagnosed in Atlanta, GA with an extremely
rare drug resistant form of TB, XDR-TB, in March of this year. He
decided to carry on with plans to marry in Greece, saying he didn't
realize what he had was so dangerous and doctors had not
specifically warned him not to travel as ANN reported.
Speaker's itinerary included flights on: Air France flight 385
to Paris on May 12; Air France flight 1232 to Athens, Greece, on
May 14; Olympic Air flight 560 to Thira Island, Greece, on May 16;
Olympic Air flight 655 to Athens on May 21; Olympic Air flight 239
to Rome on May 21; Czech Airlines flight 727 to Prague, Czech
Republic, on May 24; and Czech Airlines flight 0104 to Montreal,
Canada on May 24.
He then crossed over into the US from Canada at the Champlain,
NY border crossing, fearful he wouldn't get necessary treatments if
he didn't get back in the states after the wedding, according to
the Associated Press.
A federal health official, who spoke on the condition of
anonymity, told the AP three subsequent tests all show Speaker has
a milder form, multidrug-resistent TB, which has many more
treatment options available that XDR-TB.
According to the AP, there is a question as to how the lab
techniques used at Jewish Medical and Research Center, where
Speaker is being treated, differed from those used at the Centers
for Disease Control. A CDC official reportedly said the agency
tested a sputum sample and got the same result as the hospital.
Officials at Denver's National couldn't immediately be reached
for comment by the AP, but hospital spokesman William Allstetter
did say doctors would announce changes in Speaker's treatment at an
upcoming news conference.