Tuberculosis: 17 Questions and Answers
Confused About Tuberculosis Headlines? Get the Facts
WebMD News Archive
What about surgery? continued...
Speaker's operation was done with
a minimally invasive technique called video-assisted thoracic surgery
In VATS, surgeons access the lung
through a 2-inch incision in the patient's side, as well as two incisions (each
1-centimeter long) for surgical instruments and a tiny, fiberoptic
The infected part of Speaker's
lung has been described as roughly the size of a tennis ball, notes the
National Jewish Medical and Research Center.
Marvin Pomerantz, MD, director of
the Center for the Surgical Treatment of Lung Infections at the University of
Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center, tells WebMD that he wouldn’t call
lung surgery a last resort.
“I'd call it part of the overall
treatment of the difficult cases of tuberculosis," with more antibiotic
treatment after the operation, Pomerantz says.
What transatlantic flights did Speaker take?
According to the CDC, he flew on
two transatlantic flights in May:
Air France flight 385 (Delta
co-share flight 8517): Departed Atlanta on May 12, arrived in Paris on May
Czech Airlines flight 0104:
Departed Prague, Czech Republic on May 24, arriving in Montreal on the same
What should passengers on those flights do?
Call the CDC at 800-CDC-INFO for
information on tuberculosis testing.
Passengers likely to be at highest
risk for potential tuberculosis transmission during those flights were sitting
in Speaker's row and in the two rows in front or behind him, notes
CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH.
Gerberding says the CDC has
been in touch with 74 U.S. citizens and residents on the Air France/Delta
flight, including all 26 passengers who were believed to be sitting in the
high-risk rows around Speaker's seat.
Canadian authorities have
identified the 28 passengers seated in the high-risk rows around Speaker on the
Czech Airlines flight, says Gerberding.
Those passengers -- and anyone
else on those flights -- will be put in touch with local health officials in
their city or state for tuberculosis testing. Since tuberculosis grows slowly,
any initial tests that show tuberculosis would probably stem from infection
before the flights. Follow-up tests two months later would indicate
whether or not any of those travelers got tuberculosis on those
"It's hopeful we're not going
to see a lot of exposure because he probably wasn't terribly contagious,"