Public Health: Quarantine as a Public Health and Safety Measure

Public Health: Quarantine as a Public Health and Safety Measure

Quarantine and isolation refers to any circumstance that an equipment, person or animal are closed off or kept apart from the rest because they might have been exposed to a fatal disease agent. The difference is on the purpose of the separation. While isolation is applicable to people who are believed to be suffering from a contagious disease, quarantine is applied to the persons who have been exposed to the disease. These persons may be ill or not ill.

A disease is said to be communicable when an it is contagious and can be transmitted by an infecting bacteria or an organism that is viral. On the other hand, a disease is infectious when microorganism caused disease is transferable to new persons. An example of a contagious disease is Ebola and malaria while that of a communicable disease is HIV/AIDS.

Quarantine is not a recent medical practice. It has its history in the ancient Greece days when the contagious plague was avoided. Forty-day quarantine was imposed on any ships entering the city (New York City, n.d). This practice later spread to some parts of Europe and to the rest of the world. However, these measures were not as advanced and informed as the modern quarantine.

Today, the control of communicable diseases is highly challenged. The microbial is slowly adapting and new strains that are resistant because of mutations are emerging. In addition, the populations have immensely grown and human movement have become the odd of the day. Travelling exposes people to infectious microbes that they carry to different regions. Individual behaviors have led to a challenge in the control of communicable disease. People engage in careless sexual behavior and sharing of injecting syringes that leads to transfer of disease from one person to another (Skolnik anf Skolnik, 2012).


New York state(State)(n.d). Board of commissioners of quarantine. Annual Report of the Commissioners of Quarantine. Accesed from:

Skolnik, R. L., & Skolnik, R. L. (2012). Global health 101. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.