A Tacoma woman accused of refusing tuberculosis treatment was arrested in Washington state.
The local health department said she was ordered to isolate in January 2022.
The health department said the woman never finished her medication or remained isolated.
A woman in Washington state was arrested after being accused of not treating an infectious tuberculosis diagnosis for more than a year, local officials said.
The Tacoma woman — who has not been publicly identified but is referred to as "V.N." in court documents as previously reported on by Insider — was booked into Pierce County Jail on Thursday and is being housed in a room "specially equipped for isolation, testing, and treatment," the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said in a statement.
"We are hopeful she will choose to get the life-saving treatment she needs to treat her tuberculosis," the statement said.
Tuberculosis is an illness that primarily affects a person's lungs. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can spread by spending extended time with an infected person or in crowded conditions.
The Tacoma News Tribune reported the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department first ordered the woman to isolate on January 18, 2022. According to court filings obtained by the News-Tribune, the woman started tuberculosis treatment but didn't complete her full medication regimen.
Since then, the woman has refused treatment and declined to remain in isolation, the local health department said. A judge issued a civil arrest warrant for the woman in March.
It's unclear if the woman has started tuberculosis treatment since being arrested. Neither the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department nor the Pierce County Sheriff's Office immediately responded to Insider's requests for comment.
According to the American Lung Association, tuberculosis is considered "largely controlled" in the United States. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 13 million people in the United States live with inactive tuberculosis. At some point, one in 10 could become active with the disease.
The World Economic Forum said in January that tuberculosis is a climate-sensitive disease, and climate change could affect its transmission, partly due to population displacement.
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