University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Advantages of Medical Isolation and Quarantine
Advantages of Medical Isolation and Quarantine
According to many health experts, medical isolation and quarantine does very little in curbing the spread of contagious diseases (Kliff). Although isolation and quarantine tend to have some similarities, they are very different. According to studies, whereas isolation involves the seclusion of people infected with contagious diseases, quarantine is the seclusion of people who are not sick but have been exposed to a contagious disease (“Diffen”). Although isolation and quarantine are different, they have one main objective, which is to prevent further spreading of contagious diseases in a society. Isolation and quarantine comes alongside a number of advantages. For instance, in addition to minimizing the spread of contagious diseases, placing people under medical isolation and quarantine also assists in neutralizing deadly diseases such as Ebola. By providing a detailed analysis of both isolation and quarantine, the study intends to provide an argument on their advantages.
Neutralizing Contagious Diseases
Placing people under medical isolation or quarantine is quite beneficial to any society. This is because through medical isolation and quarantine, a nation is able to neutralize any contagious disease, hence, preventing it from becoming spreading any further. When sick people have been placed under medical isolation, chances of further spreading of the disease are minimized compared to if they were treated in public places. In order to make the isolation process successful, it is vital that these patients be secluded from the public. According to Stambaugh (5), the quarantine process is normally conducted in five phases. For instance, after the decision to quarantine has been reached, the next phase is to locate a quarantine area and ensuring that the quarantine process is maintained. Locating a quarantine area normally depends on the number of people that require quarantine.
After successfully maintaining the quarantine, the next phases are demobilization and recovery (Stambaugh 5). Apart from hospitals, isolation can also be done in special healthcare facilities or in the patient’s homes. The case is however different for quarantine, this is because, unlike in isolation, people exposed to contagious diseases are placed in quarantines, which can either be located in designated emergency facilities as well as specialized hospitals. This is normally in a move to prevent these people from making any contacts with the public until the incubation period of the diseases elapses.
Proper Medical Attention
Placing people under medical isolation and quarantine also enables medical practitioners to offer appropriate medical attention to patients. The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa is one example of how medical isolation and quarantine can minimize further spreading of the disease. If it were not for medical isolation and quarantine processes, the disease would have spread throughout Africa as well as other continents. According to Resnikoff, all the people who tested positive for the Ebola virus were placed under isolation, which was in a move to offer them proper medical attention in addition to minimizing further spreading of the disease.The large number of deaths reported due to the Ebola outbreak prompted many nations to set up quarantine facilities in order to attend to all citizens coming from the Ebola stricken nations.
Citizens coming from Ebola stricken nations were normally placed in quarantine for a period of twenty-one days, which is usually the incubation period of the Ebola virus. It was only after the twenty-one days that citizens were allowed to see their families, that is if they had tested negative for the Ebola virus. If they tested positive for the virus, they were then moved from quarantine to isolation where they were to were to under special treatment and monitoring.
Minimizing of Medical Expenses
Apart from neutralizing the disease as well as offering proper medical attention, another advantage of medical isolation and quarantine is that it minimizes excessive medical expenditures (“NCSL”). When there is an outbreak of a contagious disease, many people are likely to be infected. This implies that a nation is likely to spend a lot of money on purchasing medication drugs as well as hiring international medical practitioners to aid in controlling the disease. In order to avoid these expenses, it is normally essential that nations embrace the medical isolation as well as quarantine programs in a move to minimize their expenses. According to my opinion, the main reason why West Africa was greatly affected by the Ebola outbreak was because they were not quick in establishing isolation and quarantine centers, hence, allowing the disease to spread rapidly.
Medical isolation is the process where sick people are secluded from the public in a move to prevent further spreading of a disease. Although quarantine is similar to isolation, people secluded through quarantine are not sick but were exposed to a contagious disease. Medical isolation and quarantine have a number of advantages to a society. For instance, through isolation and quarantine, a nation is in a position to curb the spreading of a contagious disease. Apart from curbing the spread of diseases, when people are placed under medical isolation and quarantine, this enables medical practitioners to offer proper medication since it will be easy to monitor any changes once they occur. Additionally, medical isolation and quarantine also reduce medical expenses of a nation. This is because once a disease has been neutralized in the isolation and quarantine centers, a nation will only spend little amount of money to treat the infected.
Kliff, Sarah. “3 reasons public health experts think Ebola quarantines are a terrible idea.” VOX. 2014. Web. 2015. < http://www.vox.com/2014/10/28/7079147/three-reasons-public-health-experts-think-ebola-quarantines-are-a>
NCSL. State Quarantine and Isolation Statutes. 2014. Web. 2015. http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-quarantine-and-isolation-statutes.aspx
Resnikoff, Ned. “Ebola quarantine policy sparks controversy in medical community.” MSNBC. 2014. Web. 2015. < http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/doctors-question-ebola-quarantine-policy>
Stambaugh, Hollis. Quarantine Facilities for Arriving Air Travelers: Identification of Planning Needs and Costs. 2008. Print.