The man with the suspected rare form of TB was aboard Air France flight 385 that departed from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on May 12, arriving in Paris May 13. He flew from Prague to Montreal on Czech Airlines flight 0104 on May 24 and entered the U.S. by car.Link. We now know the man is thirty-one-year-old Atlanta personal-injury lawyer Andrew Speaker, whose old website picture appears above right, and that he apparently never saw the Dustin Hoffman thriller Outbreak. But we also know that his father-in-law—the father of the woman he flew to Paris to marry in the first place—is a CDC microbiologist specializing in the spread of TB:
Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, said travelers who sat near the ill passenger could become exposed, although the risk of transmission is low.
"The CDC is recommending those patients be notified and such persons have a test for tuberculosis," Gerberding said. "The potential for transmission is on the low side but we know it isn't zero."
The father-in-law, Bob Cooksey, would not comment on whether he reported his son-in-law to federal health authorities. He said only that he gave Andrew Speaker, 31, “fatherly advice” when he learned the young man had contracted the disease.Link (via Fark). What is going on here?
The CDC had no immediate comment.
“I’m hoping and praying that he’s getting the proper treatment, that my daughter is holding up mentally and physically,” Cooksey told The Associated Press. “Had I known that my daughter was in any risk, I would not allow her to travel.”
The research microbiologist, Robert C. Cooksey, said in a statement distributed by the CDC that he was concerned for his daughter and son-in-law, as well as the passengers on flights Speaker took after having been advised not to travel for his wedding and honeymoon.
Cooksey said Speaker's TB "did not originate from myself or the CDC's labs." He said he is regularly tested as part of his job in the CDC's Division of Tuberculosis Elimination and that he has never had the disease. He also denied that he was involved in any of his son-in-law's decisions about travel.
"As a parent, frequent traveler, and biologist, I well appreciate the potential harm that can be caused by diseases like TB," Cooksey said. "I would never knowingly put my daughter, friends or anyone else at risk from such a disease."
Indexed by tags health, TB, CDC, Andrew Speaker, travel, Atlanta, Paris, tuberculosis.