Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quarantine for pandemic influenza

BMC Infectious Disease is an open access journal publishing research articles in all aspects of the prevention, diagnosis and management of infectious and sexually transmitted diseases in humans.

A question was asked today about whether quarantine would be effective in controlling pandemic influenza and a paper in the current issue, Quarantine for pandemic influenza control at the borders of small island nations, addresses how long a quarantine period would be necessary. They address small island nations because these are the nations most likely to be able to establish quarantine with almost all international arrivals being concentrated at one or a small number of airports.

Quarantine at the borders of island nations could contribute substantially to preventing the arrival of pandemic influenza (or at least delaying the arrival date). For small island nations we recommend consideration of quarantine alone for 9 days or quarantine for 6 days combined with using rapid diagnostic testing (if available).

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