ATLANTA (AP) _ Tests of hundreds of airline passengers show that no one caught tuberculosis while flying earlier this year with Andrew Speaker, who caused an international health scare when he flew to Europe for his wedding.
According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 250 U.S. passengers aboard a May 12 Air France flight from Atlanta to Paris have been tested for tuberculosis. None, including 25 sitting nearest to Speaker, appear to have been infected during the flight.
Canadian health officials, who were responsible for investigating Speaker's return flight from Prague, Czech Republic, to Montreal on May 24th, also found no evidence Speaker spread the disease.
Speaker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he is relieved by the test results and hope they give peace and closure to those who had been concerned.
Speaker became the focus of a federal investigation and prompted an international uproar in May when he went ahead with the wedding trip after health officials said they had advised him not to fly. CDC officials notified him while he was there that tests indicated he had extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis; later tests found only the less dangerous multidrug-resistant TB.
Rather than check into a European hospital, Speaker flew to Canada, drove across the border and turned himself in at a U.S. hospital. For a few days, he held the designation as the first American quarantined by the federal government since 1963.