Turkish health authorities seek passengers on Bogota-Istanbul flight after man diagnosed with tuberculosis
The Istanbul Health Directorate has sent Turkish Airlines a letter asking for information on the passengers of a Bogota-Istanbul flight after one passenger was diagnosed with tuberculosis, Doğan News Agency reported on Feb. 22.
A passenger on the 15-hour-flight from the Colombian capital to Istanbul on Jan. 7 was submitted to a hospital in Istanbul after getting sick.
Tests revealed the man had tuberculosis – a potentially fatal bacterial disease.
The Istanbul Health Directorate, having learnt of the man’s journey to Istanbul on the Turkish Airlines flight, asked for the full passenger list of the flight numbered TK 800.
The passengers who were sitting to the left, right and rear of the man diagnosed with the disease will be asked for a check-up, the agency reported.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is a treatable, yet potentially serious, bacterial disease that is spread through the air. The bacteria usually grow in the lungs but can attack any part of the body.
Anyone who travels in a compartment with a tuberculosis patient for eight hours are medically considered “at risk.”
A tuberculosis patient coughing, sneezing or even speaking raises the risk of the bacteria spreading.
The bacteria – a microbe called “mycobacterium” – thrives in small, closed spaces that have no contact with fresh air and sunlight.
Tuberculosis poses the biggest risk to persons who suffer from diseases that lower the immune system. Children, the elderly, babies, diabetes patients, chronic kidney disease, cancer, HIV-AIDS, organ transfer patients and former tuberculosis patients who have not been treated properly or persons who have been in contact with the tuberculosis bacteria in the past two years are considered to be under the most risk of catching the disease.
The bacteria is most contagious during its onset phase and almost all tuberculosis patients lose their contagiousness three weeks after they start the treatment process.