State health officials said a tuberculosis patient who was reported missing from a Columbia-area hospital walked back into a hospital in North Carolina on Wednesday night and asked for his medicine.
Louis Rainone, 57, walked into a hospital in Lumberton, NC Wednesday and asked for medicine, according to state health officials. They said hospital staff recognized him as the man who went missing from a Columbia-area hospital.
Richland County deputies said 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.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Rainone is homeless and considered highly contagious.
DHEC spokesperson Mark Plowden said the Rainone is not the index patient connected to the Greenwood County TB outbreak.
When Rainone walked back into the hospital he was instantly recognized by hospital staff, and is currently being treated and is under secure watch.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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