COVID-19 research briefs: SR shows consistent benefit of quarantine measures to reduce the spread of an epidemic

Daily POEMs

Published: 2020-05-04 © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Clinical question
Do quarantine measures reduce the spread of infection during a pandemic?

Bottom line
High-quality evidence shows that quarantine measures, particularly in conjuction with other public health measures, are consistently effective for reducing the spread of an epidemic. (LOE = 2c)

Reference
Nussbaumer-Streit B, Mayr V, Dobrescu AI, et al. Quarantine alone or in combination with other public health measures to control COVID-19: a rapid review. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2020;4:CD013574. Published 2020 Apr 8. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013574.

Study design: Systematic review

Setting: Various (meta-analysis)

Synopsis
Research Brief #10: The Cochrane Collaboration published a Rapid Review on April 8, 2020, that evaluated 29 studies: 10 modelling studies of COVID-19, 4 observational studies, and 15 modelling studies of SARS or MERS. This review demonstrates that quarantine measures are consistently found to be effective in damping the spread of an epidemic. Quarantine is most effective when implemented early and in conjunction with other public health measures, such as closing schools, restricting travel, and social distancing. The Ohio Department of Health released this clever public service announcement illustrating why social distancing works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxVxc6ccqtQ.

Henry C. Barry, MD, MS
Professor
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Copyright © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.