After Detroit area pediatric clinic worker found with TB, parents on high alert

Michigan parents are concerned over a tuberculosis scare.

State officials say a health care employee unknowingly sick with TB spent the last several months working at pediatric clinics in Macomb Township, Rochester and St. Clair Shores.

John-Paul Guimond says his young grandkids visited one of several pediatric doctor's offices where the health care associate was working.

FOX 2: "What went through your mind when you heard about this?" 

"Panic," he said. "My daughter expressed frustration at not being able to get through dialing the state's (the help phone line) and she has been at it, for two days.

"My son-in-law finally got through and he was on hold for over an hour."

He's not blaming them for the trouble getting through, but wishes it was smoother. When FOX 2 tried the number, it was often busy, but we also eventually got through. A Michigan Health Department spokesperson says the phone lines are overwhelmed. 

The associate, who has pulmonary tuberculosis, worked in Three Lakeview Pediatrics Practice locations - one in Macomb Township, one in Rochester and one in St. Clair Shores. The health department says this person didn't know they were sick when working between April 1 of last year, through Jan. 9, 2020.

All of the other staff have been tested and don't appear to be sick.

"Everybody inside looks good," said one parent leaving the office Friday. "Nobody is coughing; no one is sick."

Here's your refresher on what TB is:

"Tuberculosis is an infectious disease," said Dana Kissner, MD, medical director Detroit TB program. "You get it when somebody coughs the TB germ into the air and you're in the same house or room as the person."

Dana Kissner says there is great concern for young patients who may have been exposed.

"Young children after infection get much worse disease than adults do," she said. "And frequently sometimes that disease is fatal."

Testing is available and free through Ascension Medical Group Michigan. If you think your child was exposed. the number to call is 855-757-4376.