Michigan investigates tuberculosis at four Detroit healthcare facilities

The Michigan Department of Community Health and the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion recently said they are working with Detroit healthcare facilities to investigate close contacts of a worker diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The healthcare worker worked in multiple hospitals around Detroit and was in contact with approximately 560 patients between Aug. 1 and Dec. 17. The worker was unaware of the illness at the time.

The worker is currently receiving treatment. Patients and coworkers who were in contact with the worker were notified and encouraged to get tested for the disease.

Tuberculosis tests are administered with either a skin or blood test. Test results are available within a few days.

MDCH said that people who did not receive a letter identifying them as someone in contact with the worker, but who are concerned should contact the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Hospital, St. John Hospital and Medical Center or the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry to obtain a free test.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that is spread through the air. The MDCH said a person may be infected with TB but not show symptoms.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 9,945 new U.S. cases of TB were reported in 2012. Of those cases, 149 were located in Michigan.