Meaning of Quarantine

Quarantine is complete isolation in case of a disease.

There are many diseases that affect humans. Many of these are even deadly. Hence, once there is an outbreak of a contagious disease, a person who is infected is usually kept in isolation so that he or she may not spread the disease to others. This type of isolation is called quarantine.

While medical isolation is the most common form of quarantine, quarantine can actually mean isolation for any purpose. The term comes from the Italian “quaranta” which means forty. This was the number of days that ships were required to be isolated during the Black Death plague epidemic. It was only after forty days that passengers and crew were allowed to go ashore.

Quarantine can be as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks, depending on the case. It can also be applied to humans, and/or animals.

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