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Monday, December 2, 2013

Passengers Urged To Undergo TB Testing After Potential Exposure

(Wikimedia Commons)

Passengers on the U.S. Airways flight may have been exposed to tuberculosis. (Wikimedia Commons)

Seventy passengers on a weekend flight from Austin to Phoenix are being asked to seek testing for tuberculosis, after a fellow passenger was removed from the plane by health authorities at landing.

U.S. Airways officials say the passenger was initially cleared to fly, but the crew was informed midway through the flight by the Transportation Security Administration that his status was changed to “no fly.”

Local and federal health officials have not yet confirmed that the passenger was suffering from an infectious disease, but witnesses say they were not allowed to disembark until the man suspected of harboring the illness was masked and removed from the flight.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks to infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner, who says the chance of catching tuberculosis if you share a plane with an infected plane passenger is “relatively low.”


  • Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

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