TB news: Fresno County man with suspected TB is sexually violent predator

The man suspected of having highly contagious tuberculosis in Fresno County is a sexually violent predator who had been housed in the Coalinga State Hospital, court records say.

Steven Reyes, 59, is accused of violating California’s Health and Safety code by refusing a public health officer’s order that he take a chest X-ray to check for tuberculosis. Reyes has been held in isolation since being booked into the Fresno County Jail on July 18.

His arraignment in Fresno County Superior Court is scheduled for Aug. 6.

The court records don’t say what offense Reyes committed, but the documents say he is from Orange County and was committed to the Coalinga mental hospital last December for “an indeterminate period of time.”

The documents also say Reyes arrived at the Coalinga hospital with “evidence of tuberculosis infection” discovered by a TB skin test.

Though a chest X-ray last December showed he didn’t have full-blown tuberculosis, health officials are worried because Reyes “has a history of starting medication for his TB infection twice in the past,” but has failed to complete a sufficient course of antibiotics.

In June, Reyes started to demonstrate symptoms of the disease: He began coughing up “blood-tinged sputum,” the documents say.

TB can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The disease can be deadly…