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Missing TB Patient Found

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
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Tampa Police have found a homeless woman who left Tampa General Hospital this past weekend before she had learned that she has tuberculosis.

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The Tampa Bay Times reports Sarah Williams, 53, was located Tuesday evening at S. Dale Mabry Highway and Inman Avenue. Officers called for an ambulance, which took Williams back to Tampa General.

ABC Action News had earlier reported that Williams left the hospital on Saturday before finding out she was positive for TB, and that a Tampa General doctor alerted the police on Sunday.

A police spokesman said the alert was issued for the welfare of the public, but the physician's identity and motive for alerting police were not known.  Release of patients' identifying information is usually withheld under federal law, but there are certain exceptions in the interest of public health or interest of the patient herself.

Copyright 2013 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Mark Schreiner has been the producer and reporter for "University Beat" on WUSF 89.7 FM since 2001 and on WUSF TV from 2007-2017.
Carol Gentry
Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.