TB Woman’s Identity Kept Secret

A Santa Clara County resident infected with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis flew back to the United States earlier this month without alerting authorities of her illness – potentially threatening fellow passengers and people at Stanford Hospital’s emergency room with whom she came into contact.

Citing federal patient confidentiality rules, health authorities would not name the infected woman or the country she was visiting. A CDC spokeswoman said the agency was not yet ready to disclose the airline and flight she was on, where her flight originated or even what day she landed in San Francisco.

Let me see if I understand the facts:
1. A woman with multi-drug resistant TB has been roaming the world.
2. The disease difficult and expensive to treat and has a higher mortality rate than conventional TB.
3. The taxpayer’s employee says, “I’m not telling you the location of the danger.”

How many people must die before the privacy clause of HIPAA is repealed?
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