Pierce County woman with tuberculosis continues to ignore court order to isolate

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PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Health officials in Pierce County say a woman with tuberculosis is ignoring a court order to isolate, according to court documents obtained by the Tacoma News Tribune.

According to that report, an officer who was directed to follow the patient said they watched her get on a city bus and visit a local casino.

That could cause a big problem, as TB is spread when a patient coughs or sneezes into the air. If TB isn’t treated early, it can lead to long-lasting lung damage, and can even infect other parts of the body like bones, the spine, and even the brain — and in more severe cases, it can even kill the patient.

Another court hearing is scheduled for Friday. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said the next steps could involve booking the woman into jail.

A judge issued a civil arrest warrant for the woman last month after she refused to isolate or take life-saving medication for over a year.