TB Patient Arrives in Denver

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Denver (AP) -- A man suffering from a dangerous form of tuberculosis is in Denver at National Jewish Medical and Research Center.

NBC News has learned the identity of the man. Andrew Speaker is an attorney at his father's law firm in Atlanta.

According to the company's bio, Speaker is a licensed member of the State Bar of Georgia and attended the U.S. Naval Academy.

A spokesman for National Jewish says Speaker arrived at the hospital at 7:45 Thursday morning from a hospital in Atlanta.

Denver media outlets say the man arrived Thursday morning by charter jet at Centennial Airport in Arapaho County. He had been under a federal-ordered quarantine in an Atlanta hospital.

National Jewish Spokesman William Allstetter says the patient walked into the hospital and told health officials that he felt fine. Allstetter says the man was wearing a mask.

Doctors will start evaluating the patient and talking to him to determine where he might have contracted the disease and where he's traveled.

Authorities say in addition to his trans-Atlantic flights, Speaker also took several more flights while he was in Europe.

Now, health officials in France, Italy and the Czech Republic are trying to track Speaker's movements and obtain passenger lists for the extra flights to warn people who may have had contact with him. Officials are also looking for at least 100 passengers and crew members from the two trans-Atlantic flights.

There will be a news conference at 1:30 Thursday afternoon at the hospital.

Speaker will be put in an isolation room when he arrives at the Denver hospital and doctors and nurses will wear masks when treating him, but there won't be an armed guard outside his door.

National Jewish has treated two patients with similar strains since 2000. Both were well enough to leave the hospital, but it's not known how they fared after they left.




 
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