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TB patient flees USA and escapes to Russia to avoid humiliation

10.10.2007
 
TB patient flees USA and escapes to Russia to avoid humiliation

Arizona Police Department started investigating the case of US citizen of Russian origin Robert Daniels, suspecting him of creating a threat of tuberculosis infection. Daniels arrived in Moscow on Sunday from the United States. The man decided to leave the USA over the fear of possible legal persecution against him. Daniels’ wife and daughter are based in Moscow.

Daniels has a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis who had been confined to a hospital jail unit for nearly a year has left the country, his attorney said.

Doctors ruled that Robert Daniels was no longer contagious after he underwent lung surgery last month in Colorado. He had been living in a Phoenix-area motel under monitoring by Maricopa County Public Health officials for the past few weeks.

Attorney Linda Cosme said Daniels sent her an e-mail from Moscow after arriving there on a flight Sunday. "He apologized," Cosme said. "Essentially, he could not take the abuse from the county. He felt threatened. He just couldn't take it any more."

Daniels, known as Robert Danilov in Russia, holds both Russian and American citizenships. He moved to Arizona last year and was treated for drug-resistant TB. Last August, the 28-year-old Daniels was placed in solitary confinement in the jail ward, the AP reports.

A judge had ruled Daniels recklessly exposed others to his illness by going out in public without a mask. While in custody, he was treated as an inmate, confined in isolation and kept under video surveillance most of the time. Daniels was not given a phone, shower, television or other comforts.

Atlanta attorney Andrew Speaker, who caused an international health scare in May after he flew to Europe knowing he had a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, was treated at the same Denver hospital where Daniels underwent surgery.

Daniels may have trouble if Russian authorities find he still has tuberculosis. If he entered the country as a Russian citizen, authorities would be required to quarantine and treat him, while if he arrived as a foreigner, they would be required to deport him.

The Maricopa County Attorney was happy to report that Daniels became Russia’s problem, ktar.com says. "He was not a very gracious guest of the jail. His behavior both in and out of the jail was less than exemplary," says Andrew Thomas. "That whole situation turned into a big media issue, but he's Russia's problem now. If he comes back here, we'll deal with him."

Source: agencies








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