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Contagious Stockton man charged with not taking tuberculosis meds

May 17, 2012 |  8:36 am

Armando RodriguezA Stockton man suffering from tuberculosis has been arrested and charged with refusing to take medication for his highly contagious tuberculosis.

San Joaquin County public health officials say Armando Rodriguez, 34, is putting the community at risk. His booking photo shows him with a mask over his nose and mouth. Tuberculosis is a bacteria that can become airborne and spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings.

Rodriguez signed off on a course of medical treatments that were supposed to last nine months.

But court documents say that less than a month after getting out of the hospital, he started ignoring the treatment plan.

He returned unused antibiotics when a health case manager visited. He told her he had been on a alcohol and methamphetamine binge over the weekend and didn't want to hurt his liver by taking the drugs. He has eight missed doses in 47 days.

"Rodriguez is charged with failing to comply with an order of the health department for tuberculosis control," said Stephen Taylor, San Joaquin County deputy district attorney. "Really, we do have so few cases because the health department does a heroic job of working with people and getting them to cooperate."

Rodriguez was supposed to be in court Wednesday for his arraignment, however he cannot step foot in the courtroom until he passes a series of three health tests.


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-- Fox 40 Sacramento

Photo: Armando Rodriguez was arrested after allegedly failing to take his tuberculosis medicine. Credit: San Joaquin County district attorney's office