What Is A Quarantine?

Quarantines limit how far a sickness can spread and can slow down the spread of viruses.

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During any sort of public health crisis, staying informed is important to world health and safety. With the current Covid-19 pandemic, there are many actions being taken to stop or limit the spread of the disease. One of these measures is quarantine.

Quarantine is the practice of limiting the movement of people or goods. It is intended to prevent things like sickness or pests spreading. In medical terms, to quarantine means to limit the movement of people who have been possibly exposed to some sort of illness. 

People are put in quarantine to stop the spread of diseases like Covid-19. They can be put into quarantine even if they are not currently ill. Sometimes people are not ordered to go into quarantine, but do it out of their own free will in order to be cautious. This is called self-quarantine or voluntary quarantine.

Quarantine is usually used when diseases first break out. It is often the first method of defense against sicknesses we do not yet have vaccines or treatments for, like Covid-19.

Quarantine limits how far the sickness spreads. It also slows down the spread of the virus, giving health care workers, hospitals, and authorities more time to respond. This ensures that the health system is not overwhelmed by an influx of patients all at once.

Many countries who are affected by Covid-19 right now, including China, Italy, and the United States, are using quarantines to manage the spread of Covid-19. 

Quarantine Vs. Isolation 

While some people use "quarantine" and "isolation" interchangeably, they are not the same thing. There is an important distinction between quarantine and isolation. 

While quarantine refers to the limitation of movement and may include people who are not infected, isolation is much more drastic.

Isolation, in medical terms, means to separate ill people entirely. Those who are known to be infected or most likely infected are isolated for public health purposes. By separating the ill from the healthy, it helps stop the spread of illness. Isolation can be ordered by federal, state, or local public health authorities. It can also be undertaken voluntarily. 

Quarantine Vs. Social Distancing

While quarantine is the limitation of movement, new public health ideas like "social distancing" instead attempt to limit contact between people who are out and about.

Social Distancingis a way of referring to methods of reducing close contact between big groups of people. This means canceling public gatherings and staying 6 feet or 2 meters away from others when possible. This could also include canceling mass gatherings like school, work, sporting events, and holiday gatherings. Many people may be working from home. Public transit and mass travel may also be restricted. Those traveling abroad should use extra caution. 

History of Quarantine 

Quarantines were invented by the 14th century Venetians. To protect their coastal cities from being ravaged by the plague, they made all ships arriving in Venice wait anchored in the harbor for 40 days before landing. This practice was called quaranta giorni, which means "40 days" in Italian. It eventually evolved into the word quarantine. 

What Is A Quarantine?

Quarantine is the practice of limiting the movement of people or goods to prevent the spread of illness or pests.


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