TB Patient Arrested for Not Taking Medication

May 17, 2012 Updated: May 24, 2012

A man suffering from tuberculosis was charged by California officials for refusing to take medication to prevent the illness from spreading, according to a report in the Stockton Record.

Stockton resident Armando Rodriguez, 34, was arrested May 15. The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office charged Rodriguez with refusing to comply with orders to take medication, according to the Record.

Officials told Fox-40 that Rodriguez was putting local residents at risk by refusing treatment or medication that he signed off on in April.

“Rodriguez is charged with failing to comply with an order of the Health Department for tuberculosis control,” Stephen Taylor, San Joaquin County deputy district attorney, told the network.

According to the Record, a case manager for Rodriguez said that his client told him: “I didn’t want to hurt my liver,” as the reason why he didn’t take the medication.

Pulmonary tuberculosis is an airborne disease that affects a person’s lungs and can be spread via sneezing, coughing, or yelling loudly. The bacteria can stay in the air for hours.