People who are ill with a contagious disease are put into isolation to prevent the disease from spreading. Healthy individuals who have been exposed to a dangerous contagious disease are put into quarantine.
Isolation is the process in which people who are known to be ill with a dangerous, contagious disease are treated to prevent the disease from spreading.
Quarantine is the process in which people who have been exposed to an infectious disease, but are not yet known to be ill, are kept separate from others and monitored. Quarantine can also apply to buildings, cargo, animals etc. that have been exposed to dangerous diseased and are closed off or kept apart from the public.
People in isolation receive care for their disease, separate from others, with precautions put into place to protect doctors such as wearing protective clothing. They are usually cared for in a hospital or in a care facility, but occasionally receive care in their home.
People in quarantine are separated from others who have not been exposed to the disease. They receive vaccinations and antibiotics, diagnostic testing and symptom monitoring, and immediate treatment if they do fall ill. Quarantine takes place in a person’s home, in a designated emergency facility, or in a specialized hospital.
Length of Time
Isolation lasts for the period of time in which a disease is considered infectious.
Quarantine lasts for the incubation period for the disease, after which officials can be certain that an individual is not infected.