Man with TB Breaks Window, Leaves Little Rock Quarantine

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Officials say a man kept in isolation after he was diagnosed with contagious tuberculosis broke a hospital window and fled from his room at a Little Rock hospital.

Franklin Greenwood, 50, was placed in isolation on June 29 after he was seen coughing up blood outside of the city's traffic court and was released by a judge to the state Health Department's custody.  He left the hospital on July 1.  The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Greenwood's disappearance in today's editions.

A state health official says Greenwood has a form of tuberculosis that would respond to treatment but there is a concern because he is contagious.

Greenwood had been at Little Rock District Court for traffic offenses.  He was taken to the UAMS hospital, where the Health Dept. says he was under a medical isolation order.

State deputy health officer Dr. Joe Bates says Greenwood left the hospital before all tests could be completed.  He says the department would like more information but says it is highly probable that Greenwood is infectious to others.  Bates says that Greenwood would become non-infectious if he would take a full course of antibiotic treatment.

Tuberculosis is transmitted by air in nearly all cases.  Active TB patients normally cough, dispersing particles that can float in the air for hours.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)