An arrest warrant has been introduced for a patient who is suffering from MDR Tuberculosis. MDR Tuberculosis is a form of TB where conventional drugs used for TB like Rifampicin, Ethambutol and Izoniazide are ineffective and special class of drugs have to be administered for a very long time often extending for months.
According to health officials, Agustin Zeferino was suffering from Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis and had discontinued treatment and constitutes a risk to the community. Arrest warrant was issued for the twenty four year old, South Californian man who is believed to be in Santa Barbara. However Santa Barbara County Health Department officials said that they are not sure where he is in Santa Barbara.
An arrest warrant has been issued for a Southern California man with a contagious case of drug-resistant tuberculosis, authorities said Friday. Health Department official Dr. Charity Thoman said that authorities have reasons to believe that he may still be in Santa Barbara. The said man had many ties in Santa Maria which happens to be the largest city in Santa Barbara county and authorities have reasons to believe that he is still in the area. The man had disappeared after stopping treatment for the disease nearly two weeks ago.
Normal Tuberculosis can be treated with drugs like Rifampicin etc; MDR Tuberculosis is much more difficult to be eradicated. Anti Tuberculosis drugs are limited and costly. Therefore it is important that the treatment is continued to its logical conclusion. Otherwise discontinuation of treatment can aggravate the condition of Drug Resistance. MDR treatment is long and is carefully monitored. Hence it is important that patients of MDR Tuberculosis are adequately monitored.
Hence Mr Zeferino is in a contagious state, he constitutes a risk to the community and is a public health emergency. MDR Tuberculosis like the normal Tuberculosis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. MDR Tubercuslosis is life threatening but is curable with a Drug regimen.
Anyone with information on Zeferino is asked to call 911 and avoid close contact with the patient.