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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Howenwald Elephant Sanctuary Workers Catch TB from Elepant Sneezes

ATLANTA -- A tuberculosis outbreak among workers at a Tennessee elephant sanctuary is being blamed on the pachyderms.
Elephants can carry TB, and there have been reports of them spreading it to people who touch them. But three of the eight workers infected with TB in 2009 weren't in direct contact with the elephants.

The three worked in a building next to an elephant barn at the refuge in south-central Tennessee.

Investigators believe the TB bacteria spread through the air when the elephants sneezed, or through pressure washing or dust from sweeping the barn.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Wednesday in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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