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Quarantine and Isolation During Disease Emergencies

PUBLIC HEALTH often use of quarantine and isolation to contain epidemics. It identifies the laws, ethics, and public policy of isolation and quarantine

In 2007 Andrew Speaker was diagnosed with an extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. Despite knowing his diagnosis, he traveled by commercial airplane to Europe to be married and to go on his honeymoon. He tried to re-enter the United States through Canada where he was eventually quarantined by the CDC. This was a very controversial case for many reasons and has implications on the role that various governmental agencies should play in the health threats such as tuberculosis.

Research the Andrew Speaker case to familiarize yourself with the relevant facts of this case, including both biological and legal aspects. Consider these facts in light of the legal and ethical concepts in public health strategies for epidemic disease.


(1.) Explain the purpose of containment strategies used to quarantine infectious diseases.

(2) What were Andrew Speaker's rights? What was he entitled to do?

(3.) Did he abuse his liberties as a U.S. citizen? Support your response.

(4) .Was CDC justified in using compulsory powers against him? Support your response.

(5.) What are important implications of this case on how public health agencies address cases of tuberculosis?

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Solution Preview

1. The purpose of the containment strategies used to quarantine infectious diseases, are to contain the infectious disease as much as possible, in order to prevent being infection of other individuals with this disease. In addition, these strategies are utilized to protect the public from the spread of infectious disease, as well as to give health officials the time to determine the nature of the disease, and to find an effective cure for the disease if possible, before the quarantined ...