Santa Barbara County Police Searching for Contagious Tuberculosis Patient

Santa Barbara County Police Searching for Contagious Tuberculosis Patient

Santa Barbara County Police is searching for the patient with contagious tuberculosis, who stopped the treatment and went missing few days back. As per health officials, 24-year old Agustin Zeferino was under treatment for drug resistant, contagious tuberculosis.

Zeferino stopped the treatment two weeks back and went missing. The police staff has urged the locals to inform them immediately in case they see Zeferino in the area. Also, people have been urged to keep distance from Zeferino. He was diagnosed with TB in March at a local hospital after he went for treatment for severe cough.

Health officials say that he could be in Santa Maria as he was seen in the region two weeks back. The residents of Santa Maria have been asked to stay cautious and inform their kids as well.

As per California laws, patients having drug-resistance TB should undergo treatment for 18-24 months and should be careful about their condition in future as well. A warrant for the arrest of Zeferino has been issued. He has been charged with misdemeanor.

County health official Dr. Charity Thoman said in an official release, "Without treatment, it is often fatal and poses a public health threat due to airborne transmission. This is particularly true for drug-resistant cases. If Mr. Zeferino is contagious and he is out in our community, it is a public health emergency."

The number of cases of drug-resistant TB has increased in the recent times. In year 2012, more than one million people died due to tuberculosis.

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