A quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people and goods, intended to prevent the spread of disease or pests. It is used in connection to disease and illness, preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis; the term is used synonymously with medical isolation, in which those confirmed to be infected with a communicable disease are isolated from the healthy population. Quarantine may be used interchangeably with cordon sanitaire, although the terms are related, cordon sanitaire refers to the restriction of movement of people into or out of a defined geographic area, such as a community, in order to prevent an infection from spreading; the word quarantine comes from a seventeenth-century Venetian variant of the Italian quaranta giorni, meaning forty days, the period that all ships were required to be isolated before passengers and crew could go ashore during the Black Death plague epidemic. Quarantine can be applied to humans, but to animals of various kinds, both as part of border control as well as within a country.

The quarantining of people raises questions of civil rights in cases of long confinement or segregation from society, such as that of Mary Mallon, a typhoid fever carrier, arrested and quarantined in 1907 and spent the last 24 years and 7 months of her life in medical isolation at Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island. Quarantine periods can be short, such as in the case of a suspected anthrax attack, in which people are allowed to leave as soon as they shed their contaminated garments and undergo a decontamination shower. For example, an article entitled "Daily News workers quarantined" describes a brief quarantine that lasted until people could be showered in a decontamination tent; the February/March 2003 issue of HazMat Magazine suggests that people be "locked in a room until proper decon could be performed", in the event of "suspect anthrax". Standard-Times senior correspondent Steve Urbon describes such temporary quarantine powers: Civil rights activists in some cases have objected to people being rounded up, stripped and showered against their will.

But Capt. Chmiel said local health authorities have "certain powers to quarantine people"; the purpose of such quarantine-for-decontamination is to prevent the spread of contamination, to contain the contamination such that others are not put at risk from a person fleeing a scene where contamination is suspect. It can be used to limit exposure, as well as eliminate a vector. New developments for quarantine include new concepts in quarantine vehicles such as the ambulance bus, mobile hospitals, lockdown/invacuation procedures, as well as docking stations for an ambulance bus to dock to a facility under lockdown. An early mention of isolation occurs in the Biblical book of Leviticus, written in the seventh century BC or earlier, which describes the procedure for separating out infected people to prevent spread of disease under the Mosaic Law: "If the shiny spot on the skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to isolate the affected person for seven days.

On the seventh day the priest is to examine him, if he sees that the sore is unchanged and has not spread in the skin, he is to isolate him for another seven days." The involuntary hospital quarantine of special groups of patients, including those with leprosy, started early in Islamic history. Between 706 and 707 AD the sixth Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I built the first hospital in Damascus and issued an order to isolate those infected with leprosy from other patients in the hospital; the practice of involuntary quarantine of leprosy in general hospitals continued until the year 1431, when the Ottomans built a leprosy hospital in Edirne. Incidents of quarantine occurred throughout the Muslim world, with evidence of voluntary community quarantine in some of these reported incidents; the first documented involuntary community quarantine was established by the Ottoman quarantine reform in 1838. The word "quarantine" originates from the Venetian dialect form of the Italian quaranta giorni, meaning "forty days".

This is due to the 40-day isolation of ships and people practiced as a measure of disease prevention related to the plague. Between 1348 and 1359, the Black Death wiped out an estimated 30% of Europe's population, a significant percentage of Asia's population; such a disaster led governments to establish measures of containment to handle recurrent epidemics. A document from 1377 states that before entering the city-state of Ragusa, newcomers had to spend 30 days in a restricted place waiting to see whether the symptoms of Black Death would develop. In 1448 the Venetian Senate prolonged the waiting period to 40 days, thus giving birth to the term "quarantine"; the forty-day quarantine proved to be an effective formula for handling outbreaks of the plague. According to current estimates, the bubonic plague had a 37-day period from infection to death. Other diseases lent themselves to the practice of quarantine before and after the devastation of the plague; those afflicted with leprosy were isolated long-term from society, attempts were made to check the spread of syphilis in northern Europe after 1492, the advent of yellow fever in Spain at the beginning of the 19th century, the arrival of Asiatic cholera in 1831.

Venice took the lead in measures to check the spread of plague, having appointed three g

Samuel Ridley

Samuel Forde Ridley was a British industrialist and Conservative Party politician. He was son of Isle of Wight and his wife Nona Jackson Kent. After education at Clifton College he entered the family firm of Radley Whatley and Company, linoleum manufacturers, he first entered politics in 1895, when he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Conservative-backed Moderate Party in the London County Council elections of that year. In September 1900 he was selected as Conservative and Unionist candidate to contest the parliamentary seat of Bethnal Green South West, held by the prominent Liberal MP, Edward Pickersgill. Ridley's pro war stance saw him unexpectedly take the seat from Pickersgill at the general election of that year. Six years there was a swing to the Liberals and they regained the Bethnal Green seat. In 1907 the local Conservative association chose a different candidate to contest the constituency at the next general election, with Ridley being rejected due to his views on tariff reform.

He was instead chosen to contest the Kent borough of Rochester. He was able to unseat the sitting Liberal MP when an election was held in January 1910, but was himself defeated when a further election was held in December of the same year. In the following year he indicated, he died at "Pantiles", Budleigh Salterton, Devon in November 1944. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Samuel Ridley

Thomas Gisborne (1789–1852)

Thomas Gisborne was an English Whig and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1830 and 1852. Gisborne was the son of Prebendary of Durham, he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge being awarded B. A. in 1810. At the 1830 UK general election Gisborne was elected Member of Parliament for Stafford and held the seat until 1832. In the reformed parliament after the 1832 UK general election he was elected MP for North Derbyshire and held the seat until 1837. On 27 Feb. 1839 he was elected MP for Carlow Borough until 1841. He was elected MP for Nottingham in 1843 and held the seat until his death in 1852. Gisborne lived at Horwick House, Derbyshire and at Yoxall Lodge, Staffordshire where he died at the age of 62. Gisborne married firstly Elizabeth Fysche Palmer, daughter of John Palmer, of Ickwell and secondly in 1826, Susan Astley, widow of Francis Duckenfield Astley, he was survived by his eldest son Thomas Guy Gisborne. His second son Henry Fyshe Gisborne, a colonial commissioner, predeceased him.

Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Thomas Gisborne the Younger