Woman On Plane Knew She Had Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
Health Authorities Check 44 Passengers On Flight From India To Chicago
CHICAGO (STNG) ― Forty-four American Airlines passengers in 17 states -- including Illinois -- are being tracked down for testing after U.S. health authorities learned a woman on a flight from India to Chicago was suffering from a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, officials said Friday.
The 30-year-old Sunnyvale, Calif., woman was diagnosed with the deadly disease in India in August, authorities said. She was a passenger on Flight 293 from Delhi to O'Hare Airport to San Francisco on Dec. 13.
"She certainly knew she had TB," said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the public health officer for Santa Clara County, Calif. "She had symptoms [coughing and fever] when she was on the plane. Was she advised not to travel? I don't know."
The woman, a native of Nepal, went home after her flight landed in San Francisco. But a few days later, she checked in to Stanford Hospital. About 10 people waiting outside the emergency room with the woman also will be tested, Fenstersheib said.
Authorities won't know if the woman infected anyone until 8 to 10 weeks after the flight -- the incubation period for the disease, Fenstersheib said.
With help from the airline, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta identified 44 passengers who were sitting in the woman's row or in the two rows in front of and behind her on the Boeing 777. They're considered the most susceptible to infection during the 16-hour flight, CDC spokeswoman Shelly Diaz said.
None of the passengers lives in Chicago, but several are from other parts of Illinois, authorities here said.
The woman was suffering from multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.
cbs2chicago.com - Woman On Plane Had Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis