TB patient back in jail after violating public health safety rules

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A tuberculosis patient is back in custody after he visited a professional office in Augusta on Thursday without a protective mask.

Judge Sheryl B. Jolly issued an order for the arrest of Richard Pearre Jr. after learning of the visit. Tuberculosis is an airborne disease.

A hearing is set for Pearre on Monday in Richmond County Superior Court. Jolly can return Pearre to his home or order his commitment to a specialized health care facility.

On May 31, Jolly gave Pearre a second chance to stay in the community when he said he would comply with medical treatment.

The Richmond County Department of Health filed a petition with the court after Pearre refused to comply with treatment in April, a decision that could prove lethal to him and pose a public health danger, according to testimony at an earlier hearing.

State law gives the court authority to have a person who represents a threat to public health arrested and involuntarily committed to a medical facility for treatment.

If a patient stops taking the TB medication before the regimen is finished, he can develop a strain of TB that is drug resistant and can become infectious again.

Adam King, an attorney representing the board of health, said Friday that Pearre only visited one office Thursday and the general public would not have been endangered. Health workers took the necessary precautions at the office he visited, King said.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 06/07/13 - 10:38 pm

Society is worried about getting TB from this man so they lock him up. But that same society is not concerned in the least that the best health care delivery system (formerly) on the planet has been wrenched from free enterprise and has been handed over to government bureaucrats who care not one whit for your privacy nor your health. They merely want to control you and your family.

paperhearts 06/08/13 - 08:17 am
he chose not to stay on his meds

All this man needed to do was to stay on the meds.that have been provided for him. The city even took care of his power bill because he couldn't work. He has refused to cooperate with the authorities and the health department, this isn't the first time they found him out and about, it's time to put others safety first. Tb can kill.

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