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Arrest warrant issued for contagious Santa Barbara TB patient

ROCKVILLE, MD - MAY 4:  Small glass vial like those that will hold tuberculosis vaccines move through a filling machine during a tour of the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundations' new manufacturing plant May 4, 2009 in Rockville, Maryland. 
A Southern California man with drug-resistant TB is being sought by police.
ROCKVILLE, MD - MAY 4: Small glass vial like those that will hold tuberculosis vaccines move through a filling machine during a tour of the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundations' new manufacturing plant May 4, 2009 in Rockville, Maryland. A Southern California man with drug-resistant TB is being sought by police.
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Officials say an arrest warrant has been issued for a Southern California man with a contagious case of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Santa Barbara County Health Department officials said Friday that 24-year-old Agustin Zeferino discontinued treatment for the disease two weeks ago.

They believe he is in the Santa Barbara area but don't know where.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis is a highly contagious and rare form of the disease that can be spread by coughing or sneezing. The department says Zeferino poses a serious health risk to anyone who comes in contact with him.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis can be life-threatening and is difficult to treat, but is curable.