Communicable Diseases

Influenza Planning Guides from the CDC | CDC’s Health Care Preparedness Activity recently published influenza pandemic planning discussion guides for community public health departments, hospitals, and emergency management agencies.

The Health Care of Homeless Persons: A Manual of Communicable Diseases & Common Problems in Shelters & on the Streets | This lavishly illustrated, 384-page manualdescribes serious health problems that commonly afflict people experiencing homelessness and discusses appropriate responses and treatment. The manual addresses communicable disease control and food handling in shelter settings as well as current approaches to the management of chronic diseases. It includes convenient patient education materials in English and Spanish that can be easily reproduced and given to shelter guests and staff. The manual is no longer available in print, but you may download it from the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program website.

Practice Guidelines

Case Report

Comorbid TB and HIV in a Chronically Homeless Male: Social Isolation Compounds Stress of Medical Confinement (2006) | Homelessness, long recognized as a risk factor for tuberculosis, can also complicate treatment, as this case report demonstrates. HIV coinfection increases the risk of progression from latent TB infection to active tuberculosis. Clinicians experienced in the care of homeless persons stress the importance of maintaining communication with these patients, even during medical confinement, and recommend close collaboration among public health, hospital, and primary care providers during treatment.

Healing Hands Articles

Relevant Articles

Additional Resources

  • Health in Shelters | This presentation by Bob Donovan, MD, given at the 2006 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference focuses on communicable diseases seen frequently in homeless shelters.
  • Informed Consent and Agreement to HIV Testing
  • Shelters and TB: What Staff Need to Know | This 18-minute video discusses how to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in homeless shelters. It describes what TB is, how it is spread, what to do when staff suspects someone has TB, how to develop and implement a TB infection control policy, and how to work together with the local health department to create a healthy and safe environment for staff and clients. A viewer’s guide contains main points from the video, tools, checklists, and resources that can be put to immediate use. The video and viewer’s guide are available from the Curry International Tuberculosis Center at