August 2014 – CALIFRONIA – This man’s illness is so serious that there was a warrant issued for his arrest. The young man, age 24, named Agustin Zeferino recently decided to stop treatment for his highly contagious disease. What are we talking about, a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. He hadn’t been seen at treatment for two weeks according to Santa Barbara County Public Health Officials. He has the most dangerous form of tuberculosis, which can be fatal if not treated. It is unclear at this time why he decided to discontinue his medical treatment. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is a very rare form the disease and is highly contagious. It is easily spread by coughing and sneezing. This is the second time a warrant has been issued for a tuberculosis patient refusing their treatment. In fact just last month Eduardo Rosas Cruz, 25 years of age, was arrested in Fresno.
Public Health officials said it is common for patients to disappear for a short time, but said they generally return before any legal action is taken. If an extended period of time has gone by, than Public Health Officials work with District Attorneys when deciding whether to press criminal charges or not. The drug-resistant form of tuberculosis generally takes 18-24 months of treatment, but is curable. Treatment cannot be forced upon a patient by law. The only power Health Officials have is to use the courts to try and isolate the patient from the public. Up to this point they have not been locate the missing 24 year old man. They are doing everything they can to find him and ensure the health and safety of the public. This disease is very serious and Public Health official hope to find him before anyone else has a chance to get infected. –Dumb Out