Tuberculosis exposure investigated at metro Detroit physician practice locations

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 15:17:24-05

(WXYZ) — Patients at the Ascension Medical Group locations in Macomb Township, Rochester and St. Clair Shores were in close contact with a healthcare associate recently diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The associate was unknowingly ill with TB disease between April 1, 2019, and Jan. 9, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said. The associate worked in those practice locations during that time.

All individuals who may have been exposed are being notified and encouraged to obtain testing.

The associate diagnosed with pulmonary TB is receiving treatment and is currently not working. All associates and providers at the practice have been tested and do not have active TB disease.

“TB is a treatable bacterial disease that is spread through the air from one person to another,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “While the infection can be serious, not everyone who is exposed to TB will be infected, and many people who are infected never develop symptoms.”

TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs but can attack any part of the body such as the spine, brain or kidneys. Symptoms can include:

  • A bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • No appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sweating at night

Ascension Medical Group Michigan has set up a call center for scheduling tests and responding to questions. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. It can be reached by calling 855-757-4376. (The call center is currently down but Ascension is aware and working on it)