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Drug-Resistant TB Patient in Isolation

Officials Seeking More than 600 Passengers on Patient's Flight; Patient Feeling Well in Hospital

Patient's Story

In an interview in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the patient told a reporter that he and his wife left the U.S. for their honeymoon.

The man reportedly said he knew he had tuberculosis that hadn't responded to drug treatments but felt healthy. He says that local officials never told him not to travel but said they "preferred" he not travel.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the man and his bride flew to Paris, then Athens, and then Rome. In Rome, he says the CDC called him and asked him to report for quarantine. Instead, he and his new wife left for Prague, flew to Montreal, and then drove into the U.S.

The man told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he "didn't want to put anybody at risk" but feared unsuccessful treatment in Italy.

CDC's Story

In today's news conference, Cetron says it's the CDC's understanding that local health officials in Atlanta "clearly told him not to travel."

"The patient had, from his own perspective, compelling reasons to travel, and there were no legal orders in place preventing his travel and no laws were broken," Cetron says, noting that the CDC was looking into options to isolate the man in Rome but that opportunity was missed when the man and his wife left Italy.

Cetron says that when he learned the man and his wife had driven from Montreal into the U.S., he called the man on his cell phone with isolation instructions.

"Since we issued our federal isolation order, he has been fully compliant. I believe that aspect of the past is not nearly as important as ... moving forward," Cetron says.

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