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University Custodian Dies after Contracting Tuberculosis (TB)

EMSL Analytical offers environmental testing services for Mycobacterium tuberculosis to help prevent outbreaks.


Last month, an Emory University custodian died from TB.  He did not know he was sick and had not been to a doctor.  This resulted in more than 400 people at the university being tested for tuberculosis and letters being distributed to students, faculty and staff.
Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB can be fatal. 
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TB is one of the world’s most deadly diseases.  To help identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the environment, EMSL Analytical offers airborne testing for the deadly bacteria. 
“In 2009, over 11,500 TB cases were reported in the U.S.  Worldwide there are approximately two million deaths due to this disease,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading environmental infectious disease and indoor air quality (IAQ) testing laboratory.  “The air samples are collected on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter cassettes.  Due to the nature of air sampling for Mycobacterium tuberculosis it may require sampling times of several hours.   The samples are then processed and analyzed using advanced DNA testing methods that can provide highly accurate results,” he continued.
EMSL recently sponsored an online video about Mycobacterium tuberculosis and TB.  It can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for microbial pathogens, IAQ or other environmental issues, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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