On December 13th a woman who was sick with TB (tuberculosis) flew on American Airlines Flight 293 from New Delhi, India, to Chicago, USA. She then took another plane from Chicago to San Francisco.

The infected woman is from Nepal and now lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Those sitting next or near to her did not know she was infected and posed a danger to their health. The woman had been diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis in India. However, there is no international law that forbids an infected woman from making that flight.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA) told local public health authorities that one of the passengers on Flight 293 had been infected with TB. Authorities want to get in touch with about 44 people who were sitting near the infected woman. The search for those passengers extends to 17 states. These 44 people should undergo testing for tuberculosis, with a follow-up 10 weeks later. As the woman was reportedly coughing during her flight(s) the CDC is especially keen to track these people down quickly.

A week after arriving in San Francisco the woman checked into the emergency room at Stanford University Hospital, where she was hospitalized. Doctors do not yet know what her prognosis is. It takes a long time to know whether a patient has responded to medication. Stanford's ER medical team informed the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, which in turn notified the CDC and other government agencies.

Martin Cetron, Director, Global Migration and Quarantine, CDC, said the woman was at the extreme end of the severity of TB - she was "quite sick". Cetron added that the patient was coughing up blood when she arrived at the hospital.