Skip to content

Information and Resources

Font Size
A
A
A

Quarantine and Isolation

What does it mean to be quarantined? People who have been exposed to an infectious disease and may be infected but are not yet ill may be quarantined. That is, they may be asked to remain at home or another location to prevent further spread of illness to others and to carefully monitor for the disease.

During quarantine people are able to do most things they can do indoors within the constraints of the location they are at. For example, if people are asked to stay at home then they would usually be asked to take their own temperature and report daily to health authorities on how they are feeling. They are given instructions on what they can do and not do around family members and are informed of other disease precautions.

Recommended Related to

Bacterial and Viral Infections

Bacterial and viral infections have many things in common. Both types of infections are caused by microbes -- bacteria and viruses, respectively -- and spread by things such as: Coughing and sneezing. Contact with infected people, especially through kissing and sex. Contact with contaminated surfaces, food, and water. Contact with infected creatures, including pets, livestock, and insects such as fleas and ticks. Microbes can also cause: Acute infections, which are short-lived...

Read the Bacterial and Viral Infections article > >

If they are asked to stay in a place away from home they are provided with meals, sleeping accommodations, and other necessities. They would stay there until the risk of developing the disease or spreading the disease is over.

Another measure of disease control is called isolation. This is for individuals who are sick from the contagious disease. These individuals are kept separate from others -- or "isolated" -- usually within a health care facility or at home. Typically, the ill person will have his or her own room, and caretakers will take certain precautions such as wearing protective clothing.

Quarantine and isolation are usually undertaken voluntarily but in rare circumstances can be required by public health authorities.

These measures are implemented to contain and prevent the transmission of an infectious disease. It will last enough time for medical personnel to assess the situation or for the duration of the contagious period.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 05, 2014

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

man rubbing painful knee
Causes, warning signs.
feet
Solutions for 19 types.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
Live and thrive.
couple kissing
What do you know about locking lips?
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
man with problem
Symptoms, causes, treatments.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
two male hands
Understanding RA.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.