TB Patient Who Sparked International Health Scare Released from Hospital

The tuberculosis patient who created an international health scare when he flew to Europe for his wedding was released from a hospital Thursday after successfully completing inpatient treatment, officials said.

Andrew Speaker, an Atlanta attorney who had a multidrug-resistant strain of TB, underwent surgery on July 17 to remove part of his lung.

The doctors who treated him at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver don't consider him to be completely cured, but the lung operation and antibiotic treatments "have eliminated any detectable evidence of infection," the hospital said.

Speaker will still need to continue antibiotic treatment for about two years.

Hospital spokesman William Allstetter said Thursday that Speaker had left Denver in an air ambulance and returned to Georgia to recuperate. He would not specify where except to say that Speaker was not in a hospital.

"He arrived there safely and he is happy to be home," Allstetter said.

Speaker is not contagious and could have flown by commercial airliner, but "everyone involved in the case" decided the air ambulance was a better choice because of the attention the case has attracted, the hospital said.