Man jailed for failing to take medication
TUCSON, Ariz. ” A man was jailed for failing to take his tuberculosis medication after officials said he was a serious health risk.
James Roman Pearson, 49, remained at the Pima County jail Thursday on a tuberculosis violation, more than two weeks after the county health department petitioned to have him taken into custody.
“He is now being held in isolation. The court will decide when he will be released,” said Deputy Dawn Hanke, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman.
Pearson has been taking his medication since he has been in custody, authorities said.
A Superior Court hearing Wednesday was ordered closed and records sealed, under a state law allowing a TB patient to request both.
Pearson’s attorney, Robert Fleming, declined to comment on the hearing because it was closed.
Under Arizona law, patient confidentiality is paramount in tuberculosis cases, dating to when those with the disease carried a significant stigma, he said.
In October, a man who spent nearly a year jailed in Phoenix for failing to take precautions to prevent the spread of his drug-resistant TB moved to Russia.
Robert Daniels was determined no longer to be contagious after undergoing lung surgery in September in Denver. He had been ordered confined in August 2006 and was placed in solitary confinement in the jail ward. Daniels holds both Russian and American citizenship.
In May, a TB patient caused an international health scare when he flew to Europe for his wedding. There has been no evidence that Andrew Speaker spread the disease on the flights there and back. Speaker was also treated in Denver.