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Tuberculosis patient wanted for skipping treatments

Carlos Saucedo, KXTV 8:32 p.m. PDT July 24, 2014

Officials in Stockton are looking for a wanted man who could be a public health risk.

There’s a warrant issued for the arrest of 25-year-old Eduardo Rosas Cruz. According to authorities, Cruz, who has tuberculosis, hasn’t complied with medical orders to take treatment.

Tuberculosis is a common but infectious disease that can be fatal if not treated properly.

Cruz was last living at the Capri Motel in Stockton. Management would not disclose any information on Cruz but several tenants there knew him and knew of his illness.

“He looked young. He was a small guy,” tenant Angelina Hernandez said. She would wave hi to Cruz but never got close to him because she heard he was sick.

“All of a sudden, he just disappeared,” Hernandez said.

Cruz is gone without a trace and that has health officials worried.

“His disease may grow again and he may become contagious. Right now, we don’t know if he is or not contagious because we haven’t been able to find him,” said Dr. Alvaro Garza, San Joaquin County public health director.

Authorities hope to find Cruz and contain him to ensure he gets the proper treatment.

“If he doesn’t want the treatment, we can’t force the treatment but we can force that he’s not with other people to infect them,” Garza said.

Cruz could face up to one year in prison for failing to comply with health officers.

Two years ago, Armando Rodriguez was arrested for skipping out on his TB treatment. Officials say they see cases like this happen once or twice a year.

So far this year, there have been 22 new reported cases of TB in San Joaquin County. Most of the patients are in compliance with their treatment.