Man charged with violating measles quarantine – to go to gym

A Wisconsin man has been charged with violating a quarantine and exposing the public to measles, and his wife is charged with helping him do it.

Jeffery Murawski, 57, of Brookfield, was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor count of communicable disease (protection of the public), Fox 6 News in Milwaukee reported. His wife, Christine Bennett, 58, is charged with the same crime.

Each faces up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Court records obtained by NBC News show Murawski, who was apparently exposed to the highly-contagious illness, was ordered by the Waukesha County Health Department on April 26, 2018, to stay home until he was deemed non-contagious by health officials, or until May 7.

Murawski lasted five days before he "escaped" the quarantine by hiding in a car driven by his wife, NBC News reportedAccording to Fox 6 News, a deputy stood guard outside the couple's home during the quarantine.

Bennett drove him to a Gold’s Gym for a workout, but Murawski later told police he stayed just a few minutes because “he felt very guilty and sick to his stomach” for what he was doing, the records said.

Stephanie Schauer, of the Wisconsin Immunization Project, told Fox 6 News measles is one of the most contagious diseases there is.

"For an individual that has measles, nine out of every 10 persons in that area will come down with measles if they don't already have protection," Schauer said.

The court records indicate Murawski was spotted walking back to the car with a gym bag by an off-duty sheriff's deputy who knew about the quarantine, NBC News said.

A few minutes later, the couple was pulled over by an on-duty deputy.

"Aren't you supposed to be at home?" the deputy asked, according to the documents.

The criminal complaint stated Murawski “put his head down and stated, ‘Yes,’ and began apologizing profusely.”

Murawski told the deputy he "was going crazy" being confined to his home, NBC News said. The complaint said the quarantine he was under was the least restrictive type.

Though he was required to stay inside his home, his immediate family members could enter and leave as they wished because they had all been vaccinated against the virus, the court records said.

State health officials, citing privacy laws, declined to say how Murawski was exposed to the virus.

"I can tell you when someone is quarantined, it is not because they have the measles, it is because that person was exposed and does not have proof of immunity," a Wisconsin Department of Health spokeswoman told NBC News.

No confirmed cases have been reported in Wisconsin since 2014, Fox 6 News reported. There have been a total of 206 measles cases reported across the U.S. so far in 2019.

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