Public Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness and Response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Version 2: Supplement D: Community Containment Measures, Including Non-Hospital Isolation and Quarantine   [open pdf - 439KB]

"Community containment strategies, including isolation and quarantine, are fundamental public health measures used to control the spread of communicable diseases. All such strategies have in common the primary goal of preventing person-to-person spread of disease by separating those with disease or at increased risk for developing disease from those at lower risk. Although the terms 'isolation' and 'quarantine' have often been used interchangeably, they actually represent distinct concepts. Isolation is a commonly used practice in modern public health. Isolation refers to the separation of ill persons with a communicable disease (e.g., SARS patients) from those who are healthy. A prototypical example is the isolation of persons with potentially infectious tuberculosis. Isolation not only prevents transmission of infection to others but also allows for the focused delivery of specialized health care to ill persons. SARS patients can be isolated in a hospital, at home, or in a designated community-based facility. […] In this document, 'quarantine' refers to interventions-either voluntary or compulsory-in which active monitoring is accompanied by a restriction on the activities of persons exposed to SARS-CoV to prevent transmission if they develop SARS-CoV disease. Quarantine may also have a specific legal definition that may differ among jurisdictions based on applicable laws. Although quarantine, by definition, restricts some personal liberties, it is a collective action implemented for the common good. Modern quarantine is predicated on the need to aid persons who are infected with or exposed to infectious agents while protecting others from the dangers of inadvertent exposure. As such, it differs substantially from the quarantine of the past."

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United States Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/
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