Karen Furst, San Joaquin County public health officer, said the county arranges transportation and other services to help patients stick to their drug regimen and turns to the legal system only as a last resort.
"I have to make sure that if I'm aware that somebody is in a position that could possibly be spreading a disease to another person, that I take steps that are necessary to prevent that from happening," she said.
Rodriguez was discharged in March from San Joaquin General Hospital with four medications for active tuberculosis and agreed to take the drugs under observation by a county health official on weekdays and on his own on weekends, authorities said.
He allegedly refused to take the drugs on another day and then was not at home on three occasions and missed an appointment.
Each charge against Rodriguez carries a maximum penalty of a year behind bars. In her letter, Wick said Rodriguez would need nine months of treatment.
Associated Press writer Paul Elias in San Francisco contributed to this report.
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