A health care worker in Michigan may have exposed over 600 people to tuberculosis over the last year and a half. The worker tested positive for the dangerous disease only recently, leading to a scramble to identify and notify as many potentially exposed people as possible. The worker was employed at three different facilities over that time, casting a wide net of potential infection.
It has been ten years since a similar incident at St. Barnabas hospital in New York risked the lives and health of hundreds of patients, including infants. Whenever an incident like this occurs, it makes it clear just how vulnerable the health system is to the spread of disease, as a single infected worker can make hundreds of people ill.
Tuberculosis is a dangerous disease for a variety of reasons, including the fact it can lay dormant in the system for years. Symptoms of tuberculosis include:
- A persistent cough
- Blood in phlegm
- High fever
- Chills and body aches
A skin test can determine whether or not a person has been exposed to tuberculosis, but diagnosing an active case requires symptomology. Untreated tuberculosis can be fatal, and in some instances, drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis have caused significant treatment difficulties. Containing the spread of the infection is important, as it could mutate again and become even more difficult to treat.
If you have been exposed to tuberculosis, life can become much more complicated. For those with a career in the health and social services field, obtaining work can become much more complicated, and there can be significant medical bills associated with the diagnosis. Please, consult with an experienced attorney about making a case against the person or company responsible for the exposure.