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Teen jailed after refusing treatment

ATLANTA -- A teenager with active and contagious tuberculosis was jailed after he refused treatment at a hospital, and said he would return to Mexico, officials said this week.

Francisco Santos, 17, agreed to take a regimen of four antibiotics last Friday night after authorities obtained a court order to jail him, Gwinnett County health officials said at a news conference.

Santos is being held in isolation at a medical facility at the county jail, said Vernon Goins, a spokesman for the county health department. He is to be held until a Sept. 5 court hearing.

When the boy was told he had active and contagious TB, he was upset and refused treatment.

Tuberculosis kills nearly 2 million people each year worldwide.

Because of antibiotics and other measures, the TB rate in the United States has been falling for years. Last year, it hit an all-time low of 13,767 cases, or about 4.6 cases per 100,000 Americans.

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