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#96212 - 05/31/07 07:50 PM Guy with TB travels anyway
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
I'm sure many of you know about this story. The atlanta lawyer who knew he had drug resistant form of TB, was advised not to travel, and took 7 flights in the US and Europe, including 2 intercontinental flights.

Quote:

Speaker was in Europe for his wedding and honeymoon at the time his XDR TB was diagnosed, although he was aware before the trip that he had a form of drug-resistant TB. (CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta on other passengers' fears, frustrations)

Health officials said they advised him not to travel, but they had no authority to prevent him from doing so.

After making it clear that he was set on traveling despite the warnings, the man asked during a meeting with county health officials whether it would help if he wore a mask, Fulton County's Dr. Eric Benning told CNN.

Since the county was not able legally to stop him from traveling, the officials recommended he at least wear a mask, Benning said. Speaker left for Europe a few days later.


It says nothing about him actually wearing a mask on the flight. I doubt he did, because they probably wouldn't have let him board or enter France, Italy, or Greece.


Here it gets interesting. After he found out he was infected with a very dangerous strain and placed on a no fly list he flew on an intercontinental flight anyway to Canada (thats 6 countries now that he's been in). Again, I doubt he wore a mask.

Quote:

Speaker, who was not identified by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, told the newspaper he was aware he was placed on a no-fly list in the United States after his diagnosis with XDR TB, which is why he decided not to fly into a U.S. airport.

The CDC had alerted Customs and Border Protection authorities about the man on May 22, noting that they anticipated he might board his scheduled June 5 flight into Atlanta, the official said. Instead, Speaker took a Czech Air flight from Prague to Montreal, along with 199 other passengers and crew members, and then drove into the United States.


The other interesting thing is that theres speculation his father in law (who works as a microbiologist for the CDC) was the one who reported him to federal authorities. I don't know about you to to me this guy actions were way beyond careless. Especially since he's an educated, informed person who understood the risks of his condition.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/conditions/05/31/tb.flight/index.html







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#96214 - 05/31/07 08:20 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: NightHiker]
gatormba Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama
I have mixed feelings on this one. First I agree that he NEVER should have gotten on the first flight to Europe once the doctors advised him against flying. I know he had this long planned wedding but so goes life. His wedding plans do not give him the right to endanger others.

Now that being said, after he was already in Europe and they tracked him down in Rome and told him they had identified exactly which strain of TB he had and told him not to return to the US and to notify Italian health authorities I would have probably done exactly the same thing and did whatever I had to do to get back to the US. As a US citizen on US soil he has rights under our constitution. As a US citizen on foreign soil with that type of medical condition he would have been completely at the will of the Italian government and medical personnel. And believe what you may about our government, I personally don't think our government would have done anything to try and help him or return him to the US.

Being trapped in a foreign country with no rights is not something I would wish on anyone.
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"It's a legal system, not a justice system!"

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#96215 - 05/31/07 08:24 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: LED]
gatormba Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama
I would be willing to bet that in the end they will discover that he contracted the TB from his father in law.
_________________________
"It's a legal system, not a justice system!"

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#96218 - 05/31/07 08:46 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: gatormba]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...Being trapped in a foreign country with no rights is not
something I would wish on anyone..."

I don't believe anyone drug him screaming and kicking to that foreign country. He should not have flown there in the first place. You go there on your own, you are putting yourself under their laws, like them or not. When in Rome...
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#96219 - 05/31/07 08:49 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: OldBaldGuy]
gatormba Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama
I agree which is why I said in the beginning that he never should have gotten on the flight to Europe. However I still would have done whatever I had to do to get back.
_________________________
"It's a legal system, not a justice system!"

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#96220 - 05/31/07 08:54 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: gatormba]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Kindasorta makes him a double bad guy...
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#96225 - 05/31/07 09:33 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: NightHiker]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
Why didn't health officials have the authority to quarantine someone with a particularly nasty contagious infectious disease? I don't understand how he was allowed to fly out in the first place?
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#96226 - 05/31/07 09:35 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: NightHiker]
gatormba Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama

Actually it's not that we stick together I think it's just a case of we tend to think alike because of the training we go through. I think it's very similar to how most people who have been in the military (my father included) have a tendency to view things from a similar perspective that is somewhat different at times from those who have never served in the military.

Your idea about the embassy and the military base is a great one. My main goal was really more about getting back into US custody and on US soil so the embassy would have worked out great.

Still this guy is a complete moron for ever getting on the first plane to start with. There's no excuse for his actions.

_________________________
"It's a legal system, not a justice system!"

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#96227 - 05/31/07 09:38 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: gatormba]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: gatormba
I have mixed feelings on this one. First I agree that he NEVER should have gotten on the first flight to Europe once the doctors advised him against flying. I know he had this long planned wedding but so goes life. His wedding plans do not give him the right to endanger others.

Now that being said, after he was already in Europe and they tracked him down in Rome and told him they had identified exactly which strain of TB he had and told him not to return to the US and to notify Italian health authorities I would have probably done exactly the same thing and did whatever I had to do to get back to the US. As a US citizen on US soil he has rights under our constitution. As a US citizen on foreign soil with that type of medical condition he would have been completely at the will of the Italian government and medical personnel. And believe what you may about our government, I personally don't think our government would have done anything to try and help him or return him to the US.

Being trapped in a foreign country with no rights is not something I would wish on anyone.


I can understand that rationale, him being frightened and all. But it doesn't say anything about him evading being trapped in a foreign country and forced into a dark prison. I'm not sure what they would have done but he could have at least gone to a US embassy or consulate and proceeded from there. And what about wearing a mask? Just because he was afraid doesn't give him the right to possibly infect hundreds of people (in 4 countries) with a potentially lethal (and virtually lifelong) virus. Again, the whole kicker here is that the guy traveled to so many places (likely without a mask) AFTER he was aware of his illness. I mean, you couldn't ask for a better place to transmit TB than on an 10 hour intercontinental flight. Surely he knew this. I tell you what. If I were a passenger on one of those flights, especially on the last leg to canada, I'd be beyond upset.

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#96229 - 05/31/07 09:43 PM Re: Guy with TB travels anyway [Re: LED]
gatormba Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 136
Loc: Alabama
I agree with the embassy idea completely. I also think that US helath authorities should have been able to quarantine him from the start and never allow him to leave in the first place (an authority which I'm sure they will have very soon). However being told that you have a disease that is 70% fatal is enough to bring out the survival instinct in anyone.

I find it curious that the US health officials who notified him in Rome did not suggest or offer the opportunity for him to go to the US embassy, they told him to turn himself into the Italian health authorities.
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