As much as I have heard the story about Andrew Speaker risking the health of those on the plane with him, I have not heard one talk show host ask him how he may have contracted the disease. Everyone has been so busy incriminating him they seem to have forgotten that the person from whom he contracted TB may be amongst us, not even diagnosed!
I was interested to see what the incidence of TB is state by state. Interestingly enough, if you look at the map http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5611a2.htmÂ you will see that CA and Washington DC have the highest numbers of TB infected people that have been diagnosed as of 2006. Blacks have a high rate of the disease which would account for the DC area, and migration from Mexico and large Asian population would account for the high incidence in CA. Mr. Speaker comes from GA, a state in the group with the next highest rate of infection. Looking at the map you will also note that the states with the highest prevalence of the disease are border states. The article goes on to say, "The slowing of the decline in the overall national TB rate and the inability to effectively address persistent disparities in TB rates between U.S.-born and foreign-born persons and between whites and racial/ethnic minority populations threaten progress toward the goal of eliminating TB in the United States." If the national TB rate is declining as TB infections rise then it might be deducted that illegal immigrants with undocumented and undiagnosed TB may be the reason for the disparity.Â
Â It's very odd that this particular case was singled out ofÂ the many people in our midst that are obviously infected, and some, unlike Mr. Speaker, may not have the variety that is on the low end of contagion. So from whom did Mr. Speaker contract the disease? Of course it is all speculation, but since Mr. Speaker is an ambulance chasing attorney and there is a high incidence of illegal, inebriatedÂ aliens causing traffic accidents these days, I would love to see Mr. Speaker's client list!