Sheriff: Woman avoided TB treatments

A woman accused of intentionally avoiding treatment for tuberculosis was arrested and charged with reckless conduct, the Oconee County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday afternoon.

Reba Rene Hicks, 53, tried to elude capture, but was taken into custody Wednesday morning in Jackson County by Oconee Sheriff Scott Berry and deputies, who received a tip about her whereabouts. Hicks was then transported to the Oconee County jail, where she was being held in medical isolation, Berry said.

Hicks tested positive for the infectious disease in April and was being treated by Georgia Department of Health officials.

But she missed an appointment in July because she was in jail on an unrelated charge, according to the sheriff's office. And when Hicks was released from jail, she apparently left town and a warrant was secured for her arrest.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is caused by bacteria that usually attack the lungs but can attack other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine and brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is easily spread through the air and can be fatal, but generally can be treated with medication, according to the CDC website.