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Understand Quarantine and Isolation

Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Twenty U.S. Quarantine Stations, located at ports of entry and land border crossings, use these public health practices as part of a comprehensive Quarantine System that serves to limit the introduction of infectious diseases into the United States and to prevent their spread.

Learn more about how CDC is Protecting America's Health at U.S. Ports of Entry.

Definitions

Infectious disease: a disease caused by a microorganism and therefore potentially infinitely transferable to new individuals. May or may not be communicable. Example of non communicable is disease caused by toxins from food poisoning or infection caused by toxins in the environment, such as tetanus.

Communicable disease: an infectious disease that is contagious and which can be transmitted from one source to another by infectious bacteria or viral organisms.

Contagious disease: a very communicable disease capable of spreading rapidly from one person to another by contact or close proximity.

Related Links

For more information, contact any of the following:

Ready: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. Social Media at CDC Emergency

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