Plane passenger from Austin may have tuberculosis

Plane passenger from Austin may have tuberculosis

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Authorities are trying to figure out if a man who boarded a plane Austin and flew to Phoenix does in fact have tuberculosis.

Health officials say if the passenger does have tuberculosis the risk to passengers on his flight is extremely low.

There were about 70 passengers on the US Airways express flight on Saturday. All were kept onboard until after responders boarded and removed the man who was asked to put on a medical mask.

The man, who is from Austin, is now being tested at a hospital in Arizona.

"So as the patient was identified as having suspected TB, as the local health department where the patient was going to land it's our responsibility to investigate the case and determine if the individual does have active TB and work with the federal authorities to make sure that anybody who could have been exposed is contacted and informed if that is appropriate," said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, Medical Director of Maricopa County Disease Control.

Dr. Phil Wong from Travis County Health and Human Services said they are aware of the situation. He also said man's doctor reported to them that he may have tuberculosis and he should not be traveling.

Travis County officials tried to get in touch with the man at his residence, and left messages for him before he left Austin, but were not able to get hold of him.

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