Augusta Chronicle (06.07.2013)
Georgia Judge Sheryl B. Jolly recently issued an order for a TB patient’s arrest after learning that he went to a professional office without wearing a required protective mask when in public. A hearing on June 10 will determine whether the patient would be allowed to return home or be committed to a specialized healthcare facility. On May 31, the Richmond County Department of Health filed a petition with the court because of the same patient’s noncompliance with treatment in April. At that time, Jolly gave him a second chance to stay in the community when he promised to adhere to treatment. Noncompliance can lead to the TB patient developing a drug-resistant strain of TB and the patient becoming infectious again with the new strain. State laws give the court authority to have an individual who endangers public health arrested and confined to a medical facility for treatment.