Ukrainian policewoman
Arina Koltsova died after a thug spat in her face and she contracted tuberculosis Arina Koltsova / Facebook

A Ukrainian policewoman died after contracting tuberculosis (TB) when a thug spat in her face as she tried to arrest him earlier this year. Arina Koltsova from Kiev, Ukraine, contracted the contagious lung disease after arresting a suspect on New Year's Day this year.

Unaware that the man who spat at her was fatally infected with TB, Koltsova carried on fighting crime as normal on the streets of the Ukrainian capital. It was only after she collapsed one day at work that colleagues realised the extent of her illness.

TB mainly affects the lungs but can effect glands, bones and the nervous system. The bacterial infection, which spreads through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes, can be treated with antibiotics but if left untreated, it can be fatal.

As her symptoms were so severe, Koltsova was on a course of chemotherapy, used in acute cases of TB, which weakened her and led to severe malnourishment. Koltsova died on Monday (25 July) and was buried in Kiev two days later.

Her on-duty partner, Officer Mikhail Kindrakevich, said: "She became ill after New Year's day. She had arrested this guy and he spat in her face. Some time later she collapsed.

"She had received treatment. She underwent chemotherapy, she was fed food through an IV drip and she had lost a lot of weight."

Despite her illness Koltsova was still very active on social media and posted pictures to her Facebook account as she battled the disease towards the end of her life. One of her unnamed friends said on the site: "Arina wanted to change something for our country. Joining the police was a conscious choice, she wanted to change things for the better."

Ukrainian policewoman 1
Arina Koltsova took this selfie as she declined in health Arina Koltsova / Facebook

Her unit said of her on its social media page: "This is an irreplaceable loss for the whole of Kiev police, fond memories of Arina will remain in our hearts forever." It has not been reported if the man who spat in her face will face criminal charges.