About Quarantine and Isolation
Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.
- Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy.
- Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill.
Twenty U.S. Quarantine Stations, located at ports of entry and land border crossings, use these public health practices as part of a comprehensive Quarantine System that serves to limit the introduction of infectious diseases into the United States and to prevent their spread.
New! Final Rule on Regulations for the Importation of Nonhuman Primates
On February 15, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a final rule that revises HHS/CDC Regulation 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.53, the regulations for importation of nonhuman primates (NHPs) into the United States. The final rule clarifies the process for importing NHPs and explains all requirements importers must follow to prevent the spread of disease from NHPs to humans. The final rule is effective beginning April 16, 2013.
New! Regulations to Establish a User Fee for Filovirus Testing of Nonhuman Primates
On February 12, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a final rule establishing a user fee for filovirus testing of nonhuman primates (NHPs). According to the final rule, CDC will charge a $540 user fee to cover the costs for testing of NHP samples submitted to the CDC. Filovirus antigen-capture testing is required for all Old World NHPs that die for any reason other than trauma during the mandatory 31-day quarantine period or that have illness consistent with filovirus infection. This rule became effective on March 14, 2013.
Final Rules Published for Control of Communicable Diseases: Interstate and Foreign; Scope and Definitions
On December 26, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted two direct final rules to the Federal Register that amend the Interstate and Foreign Quarantine Regulations. The public comment period through a simultaneously published notice of proposed rulemaking ended on January 25, 2013. The updates reorganize the Scope and Definitions for 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 70 (Interstate Quarantine) and 42 CFR Part 71 (Foreign Quarantine) to reflect modern terminology and plain language used by industry and public health partners. The final rules are effective as of February 25, 2013.
Guidance for Importation of Human Remains into the United States for Interment or Subsequent Cremation
Blood and other body fluids that leak from containers can cause a risk to human health. CDC has issued guidance for importing human remains into the United States that are intended for interment (e.g. burial or placement in a tomb) or subsequent cremation after entry into the United States. CDC already has regulations that govern importing the remains of a person who died from a contagious disease that is quarantinable.
This new guidance outlines all of CDC’s requirements about importing human remains intended for interment or subsequent cremation, no matter the cause of death. This guidance includes the basic requirement that all human remains be shipped in a leakproof container. All human remains imported to the United States must also be accompanied by a death certificate stating the cause of death.
Germs that can cause disease could be present in the blood or other body fluids of a deceased person even if the stated cause of death is not a contagious disease. Such germs include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and other germs that can be present in body fluids. This guidance is based on medical Standard Precautions to prevent exposure to infectious diseases carried in the blood and other body fluids.
This requirement is intended to protect the public as well as federal, airline, and airport employees from potential exposure to blood and other body fluids during transportation, inspection, or storage of human remains.
Meet the Quarantine Stations
U.S. Quarantine Stations are located at 20 ports of entry and land-border crossings where international travelers arrive. They are staffed with quarantine medical and public health officers from CDC. These health officers decide whether ill persons can enter the United States and what measures should be taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.