About Quarantine and Isolation
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. 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.
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.
2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION FACT SHEET
We recognise that quarantine can place a significant practical and psychological burden on affected community members. You may find yourself dealing with concerns for the health of friends, colleagues and loved-ones, and may develop feelings of isolation, boredom, frustration and stigma. See below for Top Tips on coping with quarantine.
The following information has been adapted from ‘Quarantine at home - Coping tips’ – Better Health, Victoria State Government, Australia.
• Staying positive. Being under quarantine can be frightening, particularly for young children but try to stay positive and keep your spirits up - your quarantine will not last forever. Regularly remind yourself that you are doing your best to keep yourself, your family, friends and colleagues and the community safe. Consider the following suggestions:
✓ Find out everything you can about the disease from reliable sources - understanding the illness will reduce anxiety.
✓ Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
✓ Keep up a normal daily routine as much as possible.
✓ Think about how you’ve coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure yourself that you will cope with this situation too.
✓ Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.
✓ Exercise regularly.
• Boredom and stress. Being confined to home for an extended period of time can cause boredom, stress and conflict. Consider the following suggestions:
✓ Arrange with your manager or academic advisor to work from home, if possible.
✓ Ask your child’s school to supply assignments, work sheets and homework by email.
✓ Take everyone’s needs into account as much as possible when you plan activities. Remember, you don’t have to spend every moment of quarantine together. Make sure everyone gets the opportunity to spend some time alone.
✓ Plan ‘time out’ from each other. You could split the family into teams that occupy different areas of the house - for example, Dad with one child in the garage and Mum with the other child in the lounge room - then swap the following day.
✓ Don’t rely too heavily on television and technology. Treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for, such as board games, craft, drawing and reading.
✓ Accept that conflict and arguments may occur. Try to resolve issues quickly. Distraction may work with young children.
Quarantine may have long-lasting impacts on mental health
In a new study, researchers found that quarantine produces negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger.
They find that these psychological impacts can be long-lasting.
In light of this, the researchers provide key messages on mitigation, particularly around the provision of information and the duration of the quarantine.
The research was conducted by a team from King’s College London.
As a means to control the current COVID-19 outbreak, many countries have asked people to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility
As a means to control the current COVID-19 outbreak, many countries have asked people to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility.
UK politicians and policymakers have stated that quarantine decisions must be based on scientific evidence about the virus itself, but also the possible social and economic impacts of quarantine.
The new study reviewed research on the psychological impact of previous disease outbreaks.
The researchers analyzed 24 studies, which were done across 10 countries and included people with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Ebola, H1N1 influenza, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and equine influenza.
They found a wide range of psychological impacts from quarantine, including post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, feelings of anger and fear, and substance misuse.
Some of these, particularly post-traumatic stress symptoms, were shown to be long-standing.
In addition, longer quarantines were linked to poorer mental health.
Those with a history of psychiatric disorder and health-care workers suffered greater psychological impacts due to quarantine.
The team says going into quarantine is an isolating and often fearful experience and our study found that it has negative psychological effects.
The finding that these effects can still be detected months or years down the line—albeit from a small number of studies—is of particular concern and indicates that measures should be put in place during the quarantine planning process to minimize these psychological impacts.
This research suggests that health-care workers deserve special attention from their managers and colleagues and those with pre-existing poor mental health would need extra support during the quarantine.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Samantha Brooks from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.
The study is published in The Lancet.