Health and Family Services Cabinet
Two Kentuckians Identified as Passengers on TB Patient's Flight
Any Kentuckians on Flights Should Contact Local Health Dept. Despite Low Risk
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) has learned from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that two Kentuckians have been identified so far as being on an international flight earlier this month with the patient with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). Though the CDC believes the risk of illness in other passengers is low, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is conducting precautionary follow-up evaluation and testing on these individuals.
"While it appears the risk of infection in these individuals is low, the state and local health department will continue to work collaboratively to complete precautionary testing to ensure that any spread of the disease is controlled," said William D. Hacker, M.D., DPH commissioner. "If any other Kentuckians were on the identified flights, I urge them to contact their local health department so the appropriate follow-up can be completed."
At this time, CDC has not notified Kentucky of any other passengers from the state who traveled on flights with the XDR-TB patient. Initial TB test results should be available a few days after the initial medical evaluation. Some individuals may need follow-up testing and evaluation in 8-10 weeks. Federal regulations prohibit disclosing any information about the identity or condition of patients.
Extensively drug-resistant TB is rare in the United States and poses a health threat due to its resistance to the most common TB treatments. However, TB usually has a long incubation period before it becomes contagious so exposed individuals do not pose a serious risk to other members of the public at this point.
The following flights have been identified as those on which the XDR-TB patient was a passenger: Air France # 385/Delta Air Lines # 8517, departing Atlanta on May 12 and arriving in Paris on May 13, and Czech Air # 0104, from Prague, Czech Republic, to Montreal, Canada, on May 24. If any Kentuckians were aboard these flights, they should contact their local health department for follow-up testing.
The CDC Web site about XDR-TB (http://www.cdc.gov/tb/xdrtb/) has more information about the ongoing investigation about the traveler, fact sheets, and other resources for individuals seeking additional information about this relatively rare type of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.