Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, has evacuated its two cancer research buildings over concerns of tuberculosis (TB) contamination.
A serious airborne bacterial infection, TB killed 1.7 million people and nearly 11 million people became ill around the world in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People infected with TB show symptoms of coughing for atleast three weeks, weight loss, fever and coughing up blood, according to the US National Library of Medicine.
People who have weak immune systems are more likely to contract tuberculosis.
TB is treated with a course of drugs for around six months and sometimes more.
The hospital’s spokeswoman was quoted by The Baltimore Sun as saying that the city’s fire department probed the leak of a small amount of frozen tuberculosis in a bridge between the two research centres.
Although there were employees in that area when the sample got accidentally leaked, the hospital officials believe none was exposed to the bacteria as they did not have to treat anyone.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine executive vice dean Dr. Landon King told the news agency: “We have determined there is no risk involved.
According to King, the sample was only “equivalent to a few drops.”
The bridge between the buildings where the sample leaked does not connect to the hospital. Given that these buildings are used for research, there were no patients.
The hospital closed the ventilation system in order to stop the spread of the bacteria.
Johns Hopkins Hospital is one of the leading hospitals in the US.