Health chief takes Illinois TB patient to court

CHICAGO (AP) — A health official in central Illinois wants a judge to order an uncooperative patient with infectious tuberculosis to stay in his home and wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet to prevent the spread of disease.

Anyone attending the court hearing Friday in Champaign County will be required to wear a face-mask respirator to protect themselves from TB bacteria.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde is seeking the court's help. She says the patient, Christian Mbemba Ibanda, has entertained visitors and left his home despite health department warnings.

National public health experts say taking a patient to court is a last resort, but it's a standard practice in the fight against a looming threat of drug-resistant TB.

The Associated Press attempted to reach Ibanda by phone and email without success.

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