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E.C. to contact passengers on TB man's flight

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The European Commission has announced a plan to contact passengers who were sitting two rows ahead and behind the U.S. citizen who recently flew between Europe and the United States carrying the highly drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis XDR-TB.

The European Commission chaired a meeting on the incident at the European Centre for Disease Control in Stockholm late last week.

It said that authorities responsible for taking measures in the E.U. Member States agreed to follow the ECDC's advice to chase up the other passengers seated near the TB sufferer, and cabin crew.

The E.C. said that the ECDC's advice is that the risk for these persons is "very limited," and other passengers are not considered at risk.

The passengers will be contacted by the corresponding national health authorities, as the Member States are responsible for tracing their own nationals. The distribution of the relevant information from the airlines for this process will be coordinated by ECDC.

The two affected flights were: Air France number 385 which departed Atlanta on May 12 and arrived in Paris on May 13, 2007 and Czech Air flight 410 that departed Prague, Czech Republic bound for Montreal, Canada on May 24.