Saturday, June 2, 2007

TB treatment gets going for Ga. attorney

A 31-year-old attorney who carried a rare form of tuberculosis across two continents landed in Denver to begin treatment at the center of a maelstrom doctors say weighs heavily on his mind.
Andrew Speaker spent much of the day Thursday meeting with his new medical team, who described him as exhausted and overwhelmed but in "extremely good" shape and ready to begin what could be a long, uncomfortable and costly treatment.

"All this is weighing heavily on him," said Dr. Charles Daley, of National Jewish Medical and Research Center, where Speaker is being treated. "He's seeing the same news, where people are asking for him to be arrested."

Speaker took time out Thursday afternoon to tell ABC-TV's Diane Sawyer that he was "asking forgiveness" from the hundreds of airline passengers he may have exposed to the deadly disease.

In Speaker's hometown of Atlanta his new father-in-law - a TB researcher at the federal agency that tracked Speaker across Europe - announced that he did not infect his son-in-law.

"As part of my job, I am regularly tested for TB. I do not have TB, nor have I ever had TB," Robert C. Cooksey said in a statement released by his employer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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