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Arrest warrant issued for Santa Barbara tuberculosis patient

Santa Barbara officials issue arrest warrant for man with tuberculosis who stopped treatment, disappeared
Tuberculosis patient sought by Santa Barbara officials after he stops treatment and disappears
Tuberculosis patient who disappeared considered a public health risk, Santa Barbara officials say

Santa Barbara County officials issued an arrest warrant Friday for a 24-year-old man who stopped treatment for tuberculosis and who they say poses a public health risk.

Agustin Zeferino, 24, received "extensive" information and medication for his illness, but he discontinued his treatment, public health officials said.

He has not been seen for two weeks. Authorities checked his last known address but have not been able to locate him, said Susan Klein-Rothschild, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Health Department.

If he does not continue his treatment, she said his lung condition could worsen, he could die or he could pose a threat to anyone who comes in contact with him.

Public health officials, she said, feel he poses a health risk for to the public, she said.

Tuberculosis is transmitted through the air in the droplets emitted when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

Eduardo Rosas Cruz, 25, was arrested last month in Kern County after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and refused treatment.

He was diagnosed in March after he went to an emergency room complaining of a severe cough, officials said. A health worker planned to deliver his medication, but he disappeared.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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