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Quarantine and Isolation

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Quarantine and isolation are two different ways to limit the spread of certain infectious diseases by reducing contact between individuals at risk of spreading infectious disease and the rest of the population. The types of diseases for which quarantine and isolation are useful public health measures are those that involve direct transmission of infection by close contact (e.g., aerosol or droplet transmission). There must also be detectable symptoms that allow individuals who have been infected to be distinguished from those who have not. The aims of quarantine and isolation can vary and include stopping local spread of disease, global eradication of a disease, or simply slowing down the progress of an epidemic to gain time in which to vaccinate or administer drugs.

Fundamentally, the difference ...

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