Officials in Illinois say a man infected with tuberculosis has been ordered by the county court to remain quarantined in his home for at least six weeks and be fitted with an ankle monitor.
Julie Pryde, the administrator for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said that Christian Mbemba Ibanda will remain in quarantine at his home for six weeks and has been fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet so that local officials can ensure he is not exposing others.
Pryde said that the health department had been working with Mbemba Ibanda for a month and warned him that he was contagious with a dangerous form of TB. In spite of their warnings Pryde said Mbemba Ibanda exposed people to the virus when he left his home and hosted visitors. He was also living with five other people, who are now being monitored for active TB.
"We had been telling this gentleman, 'Listen. We're not messing around,'" Pryde told the Associated Press. "This is a serious illness. You cannot be exposing other people."
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria attacking the lungs and causes violent coughing, weight loss and chills. The disease can be fatal although not all infections result in symptoms. People with latent TB may not be infectious, although latent TB can become active TB, which is contagious.
Pryde said that Mbemba Ibanda did not show up to court for the hearing today and that health department officials had to track him down at his home to fit him for an ankle bracelet after the court's decision. She said the patient would be isolated for at least six weeks unless he presented three negative sputum samples test.
"I think he got a nice dose of reality today. Unfortunately it took court ordered quarantine and ankle-bracelet," said Pryde.
Calls to a number listed to Mbemba Ibanda were not answered.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.