TB Patient Tells Congress Doctors Told Him He Wasn't Contagious Before Trip

WASHINGTON (AP) - The globe-trotting tuberculosis patient now in quarantine insisted to Congress Wednesday that doctors told him he was NOT contagious and did NOT order him to stay in the United States for treatment.

Meanwhile health officials painted a picture of Andrew Speaker as a man on the run.

The 31-year-old Atlanta attorney spoke by telephone from the Denver hospital room where he remains in government-ordered isolation.

He says the idea that he ran or hid from people is "a lie."

In testimony to a Senate subcommittee, federal and local health officials said Speaker took an international flight two days earlier than planned after he had been told he had a drug-resistant form of TB and should not travel.

The director of the Fulton County Health Department, Doctor\Steven Katkowsky, says health officials told Speaker "No you should not travel." He added that the local health department does not have the authority to prohibit or order someone not to travel.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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