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How long do people stay in isolation for a contagious disease?

Isolation for a contagious disease lasts for the period of communicability of the illness, which varies by disease and the availability of specific treatment. Usually it occurs at a hospital or other healthcare facility or in the person's home. Typically the ill person will have his or her own room and those who care for him or her will wear protective clothing and take other precautions, depending on the level of personal protection needed for the specific illness.

In most cases, isolation is voluntary; however, federal, state and local governments have the authority to require isolation of sick people to protect the public.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.