Control of Spread of Disease
Certain disease are notifiable. The diseases to be notified vary from country to country, and even within the same country. Notification is an important source of epidemiological information. It gives important information about the epidemiology of the disease and also helps to initiate measures to contain the disease. The notification is done to the local health authorities by practically any person. Under the International Health regulations (IHR) diseases such as cholera, plague and yellow fever are notifiable.
Isolation is done to prevent the spread of disease in the community. It is defined as “Separation for the period of communicability of infected persons or animals from others in such places and under such conditions, as to prevent or limit the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent from those infected to those who are susceptible, or who may spread the agent to others”. There are several types of isolation–standard isolation, strict isolation, protective isolation, high security isolation. For each patient, the relative risks to the patient and to others should be assessed and the appropriate type of isolation determined. The duration of isolation is determined by the duration of communicability of the disease and the effect of chemotherapy or infectivity.
Periods of isolation recommended
|Chicken pox||Until all lesions crusted, usually about 6 days after onset of rash..|
|Measles||From the onset of catarrhal stage trough 3rd day of rash.|
|Cholera Diphtheria||3 days after tetracyclines started until 48 hours of antibiotics (or negative cultures after treatment).|
|Polio||2 weeks adult 6 weeks pediatric.|
|Mumps||Until swelling subsides.|
|Pertussis||4 weeks or until paroxysms cease.|
|Meningococcal meningitis||Until the first 6 hours of effective antibiotic therapy are completed.|
Quarantine is a practice which is not practiced nowadays. It is a strict confinement of individuals suffering from a particular disease.