Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The story of the patient with XDR-TB - an "extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis" that's rarely seen - is unfolding much like a mystery novel in reverse. It seems we have the end. Patient has XDR-TB and is under a federal quarantine order.
But who is he? Why does he have an armed guard outside is hospital room? Why did he leave in the first place, when health officials told him not to travel? (According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, he left because he was getting married and health officials knew his plans to leave and could not forbid his leaving.)
Public health officials aren't releasing his name because it would violate his personal privacy and because he's complying now. Some may argue that the information should be released to notify people who may have come in contact with him. Public health officials tell us this is a dilemma they face all the time. And in this case - because he is not very contagious - the risk of infection for anyone who came in contact with him is very low.
So there are lots of questions that many reporters including ours are trying to answer.
Do you think he should have left the country even though health officials told him not to? When do you think public health overrides personal privacy issues?
ABOUT THE BLOGGet a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.