Tuberculosis patient leaves Columbia hospital

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in Richland County are looking for a tuberculosis patient who walked out of a Columbia hospital

Police said 57-year-old Louis Rainone left the hospital Tuesday night. He had been undergoing treatment since May for the contagious bacterial lung disease that can be spread through the air.

Health officials try to isolate people with tuberculosis.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says Rainone is homeless and considered highly contagious.

The patient was on the loose one day before lawmakers ordered DHEC officials to a Statehouse meeting to discuss an outbreak of the disease at a Greenwood County school. The two cases are not linked.

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