Georgia woman who failed to treat TB arrested
Reba Rene Hicks allegedly contracted tuberculosis and continually failed to get treatment for the contagious disease. Police issued an arrest warrant for Hicks on a charge of reckless conduct, Online Athens reports.
Police received an anonymous tip on Hicks' whereabouts at a residence off Edwin Reynolds Road near Maysville.
"As soon as we pulled up in the yard, she ran into the woods," Scott Berry, the sheriff of Oconee County, said, according to Online Athens. "As soon as we got her handcuffed, we put a mask on her. We were wearing masks as well."
Hicks is now incarcerated at the Oconee County Jail in medical isolation. She tested positive for TB on April 3 and started treatments on June 15. She later went off the treatments, which could cause her to become infectious again, according to Online Athens.
"She knew that her failure to comply would result in her going to jail," Berry said, according to Online Athens. "The nurse told her that, and she didn't want to go to jail."
Lou Kudon, a spokesman for the Northeast Health District, said that there is usually no risk for spreading TB unless there is prolonged and close contact.
"If you ever feel like you're exposed to TB, you can go to the health department and talk to a nurse about the exposure and they can arrange for a skin test," Kudon said, according to Online Athens.