Many people are going into quarantine and self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but what does this mean?
As of yesterday, it was announced by the Prime Minister and his advisers, that if a member of a household shows symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, the whole household should go into isolation for 14 days.
Household isolation and self-isolation are phrases being used frequently along with people going into quarantine, but what are the differences between a quarantine and self-isolation?
What’s the difference between self-isolation and quarantine?
Isolation is used to separate those who are sick and have a transmittable disease, such as COVID-19, from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of infected people to help stop the spread of the virus. Isolation is used for many other illnesses and not just coronaviruses; for example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.
Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of healthy people who who could have potentially been exposed to a virus like COVID-19. These people may have been exposed to a virus and do not know it, or they may have contracted it but show no symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of coronaviruses.
Both Isolation and quarantine aim to keep those who have been exposed, or could potentially have been exposed, away from others to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.
That has generally meant 14 days, which is considered the incubation period of COVID-19, although symptoms can appear within a few days of exposure.