Skip to content
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

How Scientists Identify a Virus

Public health scientists verified that a common virus -- a coronavirus -- that has become more severe as the likely cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Many people wonder just how scientists know that the cause is a virus and, more importantly, this particular virus. In 1890, Robert Koch described the basis rules that scientists use to determine if an infectious organism causes a specific disease. These four rules are called "Koch's postulates." The organism must be found in...

Read the How Scientists Identify a Virus 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

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
What it looks like.
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?

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.