A man has been prescribed Truvada - the new HIV prevention drug from Foster City-based company Gilead Sciences - by emergency room doctors after being punctured by a needle hidden in a sandwich he was served on a Delta Airlines flight earlier this week.
It was a routine flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis for frequent business flier Jim Tonjes on Sunday.
Not so routine, though, was the turkey sandwich Tonjes was served by the flight attendants on his Delta Airlines flight.
"I'll be very honest, the first bite, I thought, 'Boy, this is pretty good,'" Tonjes said. "It was the second bite that got me."
After the second bite, Tonjes said he felt a sharp prick in the roof of his mouth.
At first, Tonjes thought it was a toothpick he may have missed removing from the sandwich before eating. At closer look, though, he found a sharp sewing needle hidden in the layers of meat.
"It was a straight needle, about one inch long, with sharp points on both ends," he described.
Moments later, another passenger sitting nearby found one in his sandwich, as well.
The FBI theorizes that an employee of Gate Gourmet, one of the world's largest airline caterers, who made the sandwiches in their Netherlands branch, tampered with the sandwiches served on the Delta flight.
Delta immediately ordered all of its flights to stop serving the sandwiches, and has switched to pre-packaged food until the investigation is complete.
KARE 11, a TV news channel in Minnesota, reported that as soon as the flight landed in Minneapolis, Tonjes was rushed to Methodist Hospital.
"I was there about three hours, and they immediately determined that it is a puncture wound," Tonjes told the TV station. "So, they called in the infectious disease doctor and they have got me on treatment, just as if they would be treating one of their staff or a police officer that has got a needle prick from a drug needle."
KARE 11 reports that the FBI is having the needles tested to see if there is any residue on the needle, such as from a disease or contaminent.
In the meantime, Tonjes said the emergency room doctors have him on a 28-day course of Truvada, to hopefully ward off any chance of infection by HIV or any other disease such as hepatitis.
As Patch reported, Truvada, which has been in development by Gilead Sciences for years, .