DETROIT (WJBK) - At least two Detroit firefighters were diagnosed with pertussis - better known as whooping cough.
Detroit Fire Department officials say both were treated and cleared, but the problem is - FOX 2 learned the fire fighters were exposed on June 28 and continued to work with the public, and several other firefighters within the department.
Dr. Robert Dunne, who is an emergency room specialist and oversees medical care provided by Detroit Fire, weighed in on how the situation was handled
"It would really depend if there was close contact during an event," said Dr. Robert Dunne. "So a lot of the firefighters are doing first response, so they have very brief contact with patients, and some of the firefighters will have roles where they might be on ladder trucks where they are not doing medical care at all."
Last Saturday nearly a month after the two firefighters were first exposed, at least 30 more were sent to Henry Ford Medical Center on Jefferson in Detroit to be tested.
But some concerned firefighters contacted fox 2 - upset they weren't tested - just treated as if they had it. They were prescribed a Z-pack and sent on their way.
"You want to prevent them from having it," Dunne said. "If you can keep them from getting it you are much better off."
FOX 2: "How do you know they don't already have it if you don't test for it?"
"If they already have it, you are treating them and you are doing the exact same thing if they have it or if they didn't," Dunne said. "Most people will have symptoms still going to be treated."
A statement by Detroit Fire Fighters Association President Mike Nevin said:
"The DFFA expects nothing less than the best treatment for our members in the event of an incident where our firefighters/EMS require treatment. This incident is being mitigated in real time, to make a specific comment would be disingenuous."
The DFFA alerted their members last Friday as soon as they found out.
If you feel you may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms that can be similar to a common cold, you should get help immediately.