Communicable disease prevention and control is focused on the way diseases spread under different circumstances. The crux of this field is focused on the monitoring, managing, preventing, and treating communicable diseases. Communicable disease experts in public health analyze data detailing the spread of certain diseases, work in an interdisciplinary capacity to develop best practices and guidelines for treatment and control, and implement those guidelines in the field. There are numerous Constitutional and statutory authorities that dictate how these experts must proceed, both to control the spread of disease and to ensure the protection of the rights of citizens who may be infected.
The primary authority for the United States Governement to control the spread of communicable disease derives from the United States Constitution, specifically that of the Commerce Clause. This allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to isolate or quarantine people who may be ill, or who may have been exposed to an illness, by preventing them from entering into the United States or preventing their movement between states. This is an important power, but one in which many people do not fully understand. Although isolation and quarantine are often used interchangably, the two terms present different concepts: isolation is the separation of a person who shows signs of illness from others who are healthy; quarantine, on the other hand, is the separation of people who may have been exposed so that they may be monitored for an illness. The primary difference is that those who are isolated have shown signs of the illness that authorities seek to mitigate, while those who have been quarantined may still be well. These powers are, arguably, the most important tools public health authorities use to stop widespread proliferation of communicable diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, SARS, and Ebola.
TB is caused by an airborne bacterium that usually attacks the lungs. Not everyone infected with TB becomes sick