STOCKTON, CA - The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office has charged a man with refusing to follow health orders after allegedly not taking medication for his tuberculosis.
Armando Rodriguez, 34, is now behind bars at the county jail until he's considered healthy enough to be near others.
Prosecutor Stephen Taylor said Rodriguez was arrestable after not being home to meet with health officials who would bring the medication and make sure the patient takes it.
Taylor said cases like this happen once or twice a year in San Joaquin County and it's usually for the same reason.
"Narcotics. The TB meds don't work with street drugs at all, " Taylor said. "They neutralize opiates, so if you're a heroin addict, you can't get high. So you make choices. It's a matter of priorities."
People with TB are considered a threat only to the people who are near them in close quarters. At the jail in French Camp, Rodriguez is being housed in an isolated medical ward.
Rodriguez is scheduled for court Wednesday morning, but Taylor said people with TB only go to court once they're determined to be healthy.
By Tim Daly, firstname.lastname@example.org