TB Man's Father-in-Law to be Investigated by the CDC

Robert Cooksey has some explaining to do:

A federal microbiologist, the father-in-law of the man quarantined with a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, will be investigated to see how he was involved in the case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday.

Andrew Speaker, the first person placed under federal quarantine since 1963, has said he, his doctors and the CDC all knew he had TB that was resistant to some drugs before he flew to Europe for his wedding and honeymoon last month.

Robert Cooksey, whose specialty at the CDC is TB and other bacteria, and who attended his daughter’s wedding, has said he provided “fatherly advice” to Speaker about traveling with the illness.

Speaker said he was advised at the time by Fulton County, Ga., health authorities that he was not contagious or a danger to anyone. Officials told him they would prefer he didn’t fly, but no one ordered him not to, he said.

Speaker was in Europe when he learned tests showed he had not just TB, but an extremely drug-resistant strain known as XDR.

Federal health officials said Friday that Cooksey had helped to find Speaker and diagnose his condition. They would not give any more information about the investigation.

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