1. Isolation is the physical separation of a person suffering from an infectious or contagious disease from others in a community.
2. Isolation is when sick people are asked to remain in one place (e.g. home, hospital), away from the public, until they are no longer infectious. (2006, Pandemic Influenza Business Continuity Guide & Template for San Francisco Businesses. San Francisco Department of Public Health. Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Section.)
3. A state of separation between persons or groups to prevent the spread of disease. The first published recommendations for isolation precautions in United States hospitals appeared as early as 1877, when a handbook recommended placing patients with infectious diseases in separate facilities. Isolation measures can be undertaken in hospitals or homes, as well as in alternative facilities.
4. Isolation refers to the separation of persons with a specific contagious illness from contact with susceptible persons and the restriction of their movement to contain the spread of that illness. Isolation usually occurs in a hospital but can be in a home or alternative isolation facility.
(2006, Vermont Department of Health. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan)