Tuberculosis :: Drug-resistant Tuberculosis Patient Robert Daniels Discharged from National Jewish Medical and Research Center

National Jewish Medical and Research Center discharged Robert Daniels, the multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis patient who came to the center from Arizona, today at 11 a.m. Daniels was scheduled to take a commercial airplane flight back to Phoenix this afternoon escorted by a private security guard hired by Maricopa County Public Health Department in Arizona.

Dr. Gwen Huitt, Director of the Adult Infectious Disease Care Unit at National Jewish, said that Mr. Daniels is not contagious and poses no threat to anyone who comes in contact with him, including airline passengers.

Mr. Daniels has been both smear and culture negative since he arrived at National Jewish. Sputum smear tests and sputum culture tests are two measures of potential contagiousness.

Mr. Daniels arrived at National Jewish on July 17.He underwentsurgery July 31 at the University of Colorado Hospital to remove his entire left lung, which was extensively damaged and infected with tuberculosis. He has been recovering since than at National Jewish while his physicians worked to get him on a regimen of antibiotics that is effective but has minimal side effects.

“I am cautiously optimistic about Robert’s chances for recovery,” said Dr. Huitt. “His disease was more extensive and resistant to more drugs than the disease of our previous patient, Andrew Speaker. So, I am a bit more cautious about his prognosis.”

Mr. Daniels was released to the care of Maricopa County Public Health Department in Arizona, where he will undergo directly observed therapy for approximately two years.

“Everyone at National Jewish has treated me so well,” said Mr. Daniels. “I am very grateful for the care I received here, and am sad to leave Denver.”

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