PA man with TB ordered to protective custody

Marilyn Tennissen Jun. 21, 2007, 7:16am

Lemone Yowman

A district judge has ordered a Port Arthur with tuberculosis to stay in protective custody until a July 9 hearing.

Lemone Yowman, 32, was taken into custody June 8 after the Port Arthur Health Department filed a motion requesting he be confined. Yowman had refused to complete TB treatment, and health officials considered him a threat to public health.

Judge Bob Wortham of the 58th Jefferson County District Court ordered Yowman to the Texas Center for Disease Control in San Antonio. A jury will decide next month if Yowman has to remain at the facility until his tuberculosis treatment is complete.

Court documents indicate that Yowman tested positive for TB in January when he was admitted to Christus St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur. He began treatment, and tests conducted in April were negative for active tuberculosis. But Port Arthur health officials say that until the treatment regimen is complete that Yowman could still be contagious.

The form of TB that Yowman contracted is believed to be easily treatable with medication and is not the drug-resistant strain that caused a world-wide scare recently when a man traveled to Europe in spite of warnings from health officials.

Langston Adams is serving as Yowman's court-appointed attorney.

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