Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine Explained

What is the difference between Quarantine and Isolation?: Where the global health organizations are figuring out a solution to contain the viral outbreak, people are getting to know the right measures. The government authorities around the world take initial measures to stop or slow down the widespread through different methods. After Social Distancing (Stage-1), come two important phases are Isolation (Stage-2) and Quarantine (Stage-3). It’s the right moment to know the definition, meaning, and the difference between Isolation and Quarantine practices.

These practices are taken into order to cease the transmission of viral outbreaks especially airborne. Health institutions work following the orders received from the superior authorities. The isolation and quarantine establishments are quite identical though the only difference between these is the level of severity of the infection.

Why is there a need for Isolation and Quarantine?

Both measures are taken into action to ensure public health safety by preventing exposure to people who are either affected by an infection or are vulnerable to such. These practices are followed to contain and limit the transmission of infections that can multiply further to turn into a major epidemic.

Stage - 1: Social Distancing

What is Isolation or Self-Isolation?

Isolation is both a preventive and a precautionary practice that is separating people from those who are infected or separating the infected person from the healthy ones. Isolation is a behavioral practice which is also called shielding.

Isolation is not necessarily forced upon someone. Whoever feels sick or wants to mitigate the risk of infection, can stay in isolation generally, inside the home. If a person opts to live willingly or voluntarily, this is called self-isolation.

You should not go out of your place even to get the essential supplies or edibles. Isolation can also be referred to as the preliminary stage of Quarantine provided you are showing symptoms of infection.

What Happens in Isolation?

Since isolation can be both voluntary and forced, you are restricted to make any movements or contact outside or inside your home. You have to restrict your travel, stop participating in mass gatherings, stop going to the workplace, and any other place that you may put at risk of contamination.

  • You open to access basic amenities such as food and water.
  • You are free to make phone calls or communicate with others through the internet or other modes of digital communication.
  • You have to undergo a healthy diet plan avoiding alcohol and smoking in order to stay immune.
  • Since isolation is the mid-stage, entering the isolation phase, you have to follow all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of others including yourself.
  • You must separate your belongings and maintain a separate place to keep your personal stuff like towel, soap, and clothing.

What is Quarantine?

Quarantine is the phase you can also call the last resort for an infected person. If you are confirmed infected, you are forced to stay in an entirely separate establishment (Quarantine Facility or Health Stations) set up by the respective government authorities.

After being exposed to an infection, you are checked whether you become sick or not. It depends entirely on your immunity if you get affected by an infection. Symptoms may show up later in many cases once you are quarantined.

What happens in Quarantine?

  • You are not allowed to leave the secure area and no one is allowed to come in contact with you due to fear of contagion.
  • A quarantine station is where you are kept away from the population until your health shows some improvements. During the Quarantine phase, you have to undergo strict observation and examination.
  • Once a person is infected and sick, S/he becomes a possible carrier of the infection to further spread the pandemic.
  • Quarantine is the final precautionary measure taken in order to protect others from contracting the disease.

Who Should Isolate?

  • If you are suspecting that a common viral is persistent for longer than normal at times of pandemic, it’s time to wake to the alarm and do the necessary.
  • If you already have a chronic disease, consider staying in isolation to prevent the airborne contagion.
  • If you have all or 60% symptoms matching disease, isolate yourself immediately and start following the protocol.
  • If someone around you or in your family exhibits the symptoms of infection, do the same or assist the person to follow the same measures.

Information Sources: HHS.GOV and CDC.GOV
Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the rules of Coronavirus isolation?

A Novel COronavirus (COVID-19) infected person should immediately get separated from humans for at least 7 days. Those living around the infected person need to stay isolated for a minimum of 2 weeks.

Are Isolation and Quarantine the same?

No, the isolation phase is a preliminary phase where an infected person stays without any physical contact maintaining distance from others. The best place to self-isolate is home or a secluded place with at least one ventilation channel. Quarantine, on the other hand, is the final step taken by governing health authorities to contain the infection by keeping the infected person in a highly secure facility.

What is the Best way to Self-Isolate or Isolate?

Whether you are infected or not, during a pandemic, it is best to practice staying inside your home and follow the protocol laid down by the authorities for containment of infection.

What should I do to Isolate?

Keep your space limited and restricted to yourself only. Prevent others in your family from sharing your things and space and perform the basic hygienic practices.

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