Issues to consider : isolation & quarantine
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Issues to consider : isolation & quarantine

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      Controlling the spread of a communicable disease in a community requires a multifaceted approach that includes traditional epidemiology, education of medical providers and the public, and provision of treatment and prophylaxis, if available. Specific conditions may dictate the need for more extensive control measures designed to limit contact between persons who are (or may be) contagious and others who are susceptible to infection. Isolation and quarantine are two such measures.

      The legal authority to impose isolation and quarantine exists in most local health jurisdictions, but the successful implementation of either measure on a broad scale within a community will require careful planning. The following checklist was developed by members of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to help public health jurisdictions identify the essential aspects of a plan for the implementation of isolation and quarantine. A workgroup of the NACCHO Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Committee created this document for public health officials given the lack of simple and concise guidance on isolation and quarantine issues. While it is not comprehensive of all elements to include in the plan, this checklist outlines some of the important areas to consider when creating an isolation and quarantine plan, including:

      • Legal issues, especially as it relates to involuntarily holding individuals who pose a risk to the public’s health.

      • Implementation of the isolation and quarantine plan.

      • Ongoing surveillance for prevention of further transmission of disease.

      • Social support that ensures that the basic needs of the individual are met.

      • Risk communications and effectively communicating information to the public.

      Support for the printing of this document was made available through a Cooperative Agreement (U50/CCU302718) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).


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