Quarantine Practices

1910 Words 8 Pages
In 1347 Europe was hit by one of the worst epidemics that the world has ever seen. In a period of approximately 5 years nearly 25 million people were killed by a nearly unstoppable disease. In an effort to save themselves and their cities, the authorities of northern Italy’s city-states utilized cutting edge programs to work against further transmittance of this catastrophic infection. The implementation of various quarantine practices led to the requirement for regulation of these policies and necessitated the formation of the first specialized hospitals and the creation of public health offices. Many of the modern medicinal policies for dealing with highly contagious diseases can be traced back to these primary practices and have changed …show more content…
Deliberate and calculated sequestration is believed to have begun in 1374 when Bernabò Visconti, a Lord of Milan, set up public plague regulations that urge “...each person who displays a swelling or tumour [should] immediately leave the city, castle or town that they are residing in and take to the open country, living either in huts or in the woods, until he either dies or recovers.” This is one of the earliest forms of quarantine, where the infected person was expected to take it upon themselves to remove their personage from society, so as to not infect the healthy population and evolved over the years to become the sophisticated system that is now in place at hospitals worldwide. The rest of Visconti’s mandate urges that “... those in attendance upon someone who died (should) wait 10 days before returning to society.”, along with requirements for the safe and solitary storage of possibly infected goods. Another section of quarantine used in Venice …show more content…
Hospitals were built to allow easy application of the new policies. A prime example of plague specific hospitals can be found in the Lazarettes. Created in Venice to house those infected with the plague, the stone fortresses “...were two of the most powerful weapons in the fight against the plague between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries and were central to Venice’s public health strategy.” and the first permanent specialized wards. The Lazaretto vecchio, or old Lazaretto, was founded in 1423 and the Lazaretto nuovo, or new Lazaretto followed shortly in 1471. They were located on two separate small islands just off of Venice’s coast. Their main purpose was to be a checkpoint for merchants and travelers, and thus prevent possibly infected people from stepping foot in the city until they were cleared, though both eventually developed specific roles within this ultimate goal. The new Lazaretto was mainly used as a place to isolate those only suspected of carrying the infection, primarily those that had had recent contact with someone who had died from the plague, as an alternative to at- home quarantine. Towards the outbreak of 1555 the new hospital had expanded into also being used for those taking the steps to return to society after a stay at the old Lazaretto. During this entire time period, the old Lazzaretto remained a place to care for the actively ill and to

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