Oconee Deputies Looking for Tuberculosis Patient Who Reportedly Skipped Tests
53-year-old Reba Rene Hicks, who has recently lived at a residence off of US Highway 78 in Bogart, could expose others to the potentially fatal illness, the Athens Banner Herald reports.
UPDATE: Reba Rene Hicks was taken into custody on Aug. 22. Click here for more details.
Oconee County Sheriff's deputies working with Georgia Department of Public Health staff Tuesday obtained a reckless conduct warrant against a 53-year-old woman who officials say has been noncompliant with her treatment of tuberculosis.
According to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald, Reba Rene Hicks tested positive for the disease on April 3 and began treatments but missed necessary tests that were scheduled for July 27. Officials are concerned people in contact with Hicks could be exposed to the disease by way of bacteria spreading through the air, the newspaper reported.
Hicks was booked into the Oconee County Jail that date on a charge of simple battery and released a couple of days later. Sheriff Scott Berry told the newspaper he doesn't believe any employees or other inmates were infected during that time.
Hicks twice over the last couple of weeks reportedly spoke to health officials, saying first that she was staying in Gainesville in Hall County and later that she had returned to Oconee, and deputies in both counties have tried to reach her, the article noted.
Berry told Oconee Patch this is the second time in 20 years that the Department of Public Health has asked the Oconee Sheriff's Office to assist with a non-compliant tuberculosis patient.
For more information about tuberculosis, such as how the disease spreads and is treated, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.