Lessons from the History of Quarantine, from Plague to Influenza A
Published Date:Feb 2013
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 19(2):254-259.
History, 17th Century
History, 18th Century
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
History, 21st Century
Influenza A Virus
Public Health Emergencies
Public Health Measures
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Description:In the new millennium, the centuries-old strategy of quarantine is becoming a powerful component of the public health response to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. During the 2003 pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, the use of quarantine, border controls, contact tracing, and surveillance proved effective in containing the global threat in just over 3 months. For centuries, these practices have been the cornerstone of organized responses to infectious disease outbreaks. However, the use of quarantine and other measures for controlling epidemic diseases has always been controversial because such strategies raise political, ethical, and socioeconomic issues and require a careful balance between public interest and individual rights. In a globalized world that is becoming ever more vulnerable to communicable diseases, a historical perspective can help clarify the use and implications of a still-valid public health strategy.
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