1. Quarantine is the period of isolation decreed to control the spread of infectious disease.
2. A Quarantine is when people who have been in close proximity to an infected person, but appear healthy, are asked to remain in one place, away from the general public, until it can be determined that they have not been infected.
(2006, Pandemic Influenza Business Continuity Guide & Template for San Francisco Businesses. San Francisco Department of Public Health. Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Section.)
3. The period of isolation decreed to control the spread of disease. Before the era of antibiotics, quarantine was one of the few available means of halting the spread of infectious disease. It is still employed today as needed. The list of quarantinable diseases in the U.S. is established by Executive Order of the President, on recommendation of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and includes cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, and viral hemorrhagic fevers (such as Marburg, Ebola, and Congo-Crimean disease). In 2003, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) was added as a quarantinable disease. In 2005 another disease was added to the list, influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic.
4. Quarantine refers to the separation and restriction of movement of well persons who may have been exposed to an infectious agent and may be infected but are not yet ill. Quarantine usually occurs in the home but can be in a community facility or hospital. The term “quarantine” can also be applied to restrictions of movement into or out of buildings, other structures, and public conveyances. States generally have authority to invoke and enforce quarantine within their jurisdictions, although quarantine laws vary among states. The CDC is also empowered to detain, medically examine, or conditionally release persons suspected of carrying certain communicable diseases at points of arrival in and departure from the United States or across state lines.
(2006, Vermont Department of Health. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan)