Tuberculosis can be fatal if left untreated.
An arrest warrant has been issued against a woman in Washington State who, for more than a year, repeatedly refused to isolate or get treatment for her tuberculosis, according to a report in The Washington Post. The woman's name has been withheld by health officials and was identified in the court papers by the initials VN. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that spreads to anyone who is in close contact with a patient, like family members of friends. It is considered as potentially fatal.
"We have worked with family and community members for more than a year to do everything we can to persuade this woman to take her medication to protect herself and our community," Nigel Turner, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's director of communicable disease control, in a statement as per the Post report.
Since the arrest warrant has been issued, it will allow law enforcement agencies to transport the woman to a facility in Pierce County for isolation, testing and treatment.
Issuing the arrest warrant, the judge said that those transporting the woman should be aware that they will be with a patient with active tuberculosis and take appropriate precaution.
It is not clear why the woman has refused to isolate or receive treatment, Washington Post further said.
However, her lawyer Sarah Tofflemire claimed in a filing on Wednesday that the woman refused treatment as she doesn't understand what is happening, as per NBC News.
"She has not acknowledged the existence of her own medical condition... she has primarily focused on how she dislikes papers coming to her home, and not the import of the process in which she finds herself," Ms Tofflemire said.
Tuberculosis treatment takes three to nine months, according to Centres for Disease Control (CDC).