2 TB Patients Under 24-Hour Guard by Columbus, Ohio Police
April 24, 2003
Columbus, Ohio, police are keeping two men with active tuberculosis under 24-hour guard because the men will not follow doctors' orders to stay isolated. The city Health Department will ask City Council next month for $50,000 to continue guarding Elijah "Mike" Littlejohn, 43, and Terry Sweitzer, 61. Last month, Franklin County Probate Judge Lawrence Belskis issued orders to guard Littlejohn and Sweitzer for as long as 180 days. "The only time we do this is when they become a danger to the general public and are refusing to wear a mask out in the general public or stay home until they test negative," said Frank Cook, assistant city attorney. Sweitzer is being guarded at Riverside Methodist Hospital. Littlejohn has been under guard since his release last week from jail, where his TB was diagnosed. In 2001, Littlejohn was diagnosed with TB and left Ohio before his treatment was complete, Cook said. "He had a history of noncompliance," Cook said. Debbie Coleman, director of the health department's infectious disease unit, said the men could be guarded for a few weeks to several months, depending on how quickly they have three consecutive negative TB tests.Adapted from:
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.