China is building a quarantine center on the outskirts of the city of Wuhan, where a newly identified virus has infected many hundreds of residents.
The idea of putting a possibly sick person in quarantine goes back to the ancient texts. The book of Leviticus tells how to quarantine people with leprosy. Hippocrates covered the issue in a three-volume set on epidemics, though he came from a time in ancient Greece when disease was thought to spread from “miasmas,” or foul-smelling gas that came out of the ground.
With this new quarantine effort in the news, we offer a look at quarantine use — and abuse — over the ages.