“Can’t Stop Coughing (But I Need to Get Back to the Shelter by 6)”

  • Cynthia B. Morrow


In this chapter, we will explore a case involving an outbreak of tuberculosis that occurred among men living in a homeless shelter. The case delves into both the public health challenges involved in investigating a disease outbreak in a vulnerable population and the delicate balance of protecting individuals’ autonomy and confidentiality while protecting the public’s health. By the conclusion of the case, learners will be able to apply the socioecological model to tuberculosis, analyze an outbreak of disease using epidemiologic tools, and identify conflicts in balancing autonomy and justice while managing potential public health threats.


Confidentiality Outbreak investigation Public health threat Social justice Socioecological model Tuberculosis 



This case was adapted from an earlier case written by Cynthia Morrow, Don Cibula, and Lloyd Novick that was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2003.


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Further Reading on this Topic

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact sheet, tuberculosis: an overview [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): CDC; 2014 March. Available from:
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia B. Morrow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of InterprofessionalismVirginia Tech Carilion School of MedicineRoanokeUSA

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