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American Who Set Off TB Scare Apologizes, Lung Surgery an Option for Him

ntreal and then drove across the US border on May 24 at Champlain, New York.

He said that he took the risk of exposing others to the strain because he feared he would die if he remained in Europe without the treatment available back home. He also felt that the CDC was abandoning him to his fate.

Speaker's new father-in-law, Robert C. Cooksey, is a CDC microbiologist whose specialty is TB and other bacteria. He said neither he nor his CDC lab was the source of Speaker's TB.

Cooksey said he provided only "fatherly advice" to Speaker about traveling with the illness.

"In my capacity as his future father-in-law, I told him to take care of my daughter," Cooksey said.

Cooksey may have been involved in preparing one of the lab tests that determined what type of TB Speaker had contracted and helped track down the honeymooning couple, CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding said. But she declined to provide more details on Cooksey's involvement in the case, and would not comment on the propriety of his actions.

Interestingly the mayor of the island of Santorini in Greece, Angelos Rousso, denied Speakers marriage took place at all. He told agencies, "There was no wedding. They came for a marriage but they did not have the required papers." He said the couple stayed in a hotel for three days and then left.

Meantime Speaker's doctors in Denver said that he could be in the hospital for up to two months, and that if antibiotics fail to knock out the extremely drug-resistant infection, he may have to undergo surgery to remove infected lung tissue, about the size of a tennis ball.

Surgery to remove pieces of the lung was more common before the advent of sophisticated drugs in the 1960s. But it is coming back as a treatment because of the development of strains resistant to those drugs.

Doctors hope to determine where Speaker contracted the disease, which has been found around the worl
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