Outbreak of Tuberculosis in a Homeless Men’s Shelter

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Cynthia B. Morrow, MD, MPH; Donald A. Cibula, PhD; Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH
Date published
Jan, 2003
Last updated
25 Jan 2020


This case—tuberculosis in a homeless men’s shelter—is one of a series of teaching cases in the Case-Based Series in Population-Oriented Prevention (C-POP). It has been developed for use in medical school and residency prevention curricula. The complete set of cases is presented in this supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Tuberculosis presents a significant public health challenge. In this teaching case, medical students are given information about four cases of active tuberculosis that occurred over a short period of time in residents of a homeless men’s shelter.

The students then walk through the steps that a local health department takes to identify and screen those individuals at risk for transmission of tuberculosis during an outbreak. During this process, they learn skills in epidemiology (such as defining “epidemic” and distinguishing uses for incidence and prevalence) as well as in population-based prevention of tuberculosis. Finally students discuss health policy as it relates to the control and prevention of tuberculosis.

(Am J Prev Med 2003;24(4S):124–127) © 2003 American Journal of Preventive Medicine