Nugget of Knowledge: Quarantine or isolation?

Daybreak

The last time we saw a federal quarantine was during the Spanish flu epidemic from 1918 to 1919

(WYTV) – We’re trying to control the spread of the coronavirus through quarantine and through isolation.

What’s the difference?

They sound like the same thing, but they’re not.

Thursday, for example, we heard from a young teacher from New Castle under quarantine in China. Was he also isolated?

Here’s the difference:

Doctors use both to prevent the spread of an infectious disease.

Someone under quarantine, such as our teacher, shows no symptoms. He or she appears and feels perfectly fine, but we think this person might have been exposed to the virus.

We watch this person for any signs or symptoms of infection.

The quarantine ends when this person is still OK after the incubation period, and there are still no symptoms. Say it’s 21 days, so quarantine lasts three weeks.

If you’re in isolation, you’re showing symptoms. You definitely have the virus, and you’ll stay in isolation until the disease is gone and all tests show you are no longer contagious, however long that takes.

So that’s the difference: quarantine, you’re OK, or at least appear OK. Isolation, you’re not OK.

In this country, the president has the power to isolate and quarantine citizens in order to protect them from the spread of infectious diseases.

The last time we saw a federal quarantine was during the Spanish flu epidemic from 1918 to 1919.

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