Search Penny Hill Press

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB): Emerging Public Health Threats and Quarantine and Isolation

Kathleen S. Swendiman
Legislative Attorney

Nancy Lee Jones
Legislative Attorney

The international saga of Andrew Speaker, a traveler thought to have XDR-TB, a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, placed a spotlight on existing mechanisms to contain contagious disease threats and raised numerous legal and public health issues. This report presents the factual situation presented by Andrew Speaker. It also discusses the application of various public health measures available to contain an emerging public health threat posed by an individual who ignores medical advice and attempts to board an airplane or take other forms of public transportation. These measures include quarantine and isolation authorities, the “Do Not Board” List, and application of certain provisions of the International Health Regulations. This report also examines constitutional issues relating to due process and equal protection. Legal issues which may be raised by application of federal nondiscrimination laws when emergency public health measures are used to contain emerging public health threats are also discussed.

Date of Report: November 26, 2010
Number of Pages: 18
Order Number: RL34144
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail
Penny Hill Press  or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.