Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 521.2. Definitions

The following terms, whenever used in this act, have the meanings indicated in this section, except where the context indicates a clearly different meaning:

(a) Board.  The State Advisory Health Board.

(b) Carrier.  A person who, without any apparent symptoms of a communicable disease, harbors a specific infectious agent and may serve as a source of infection.

(c) Communicable disease.  An illness due to an infectious agent or its toxic products which is transmitted, directly or indirectly, to a well person from an infected person, animal or arthropod, or through the agency of an intermediate host, vector of the inanimate environment.

(d) Department.  The State Department of Health.

(d.1) HIV-related test.  Any laboratory test or series of tests for any virus, antibody, antigen or etiologic agent whatsoever thought to cause or to indicate the presence of HIV infection.

(e) Isolation.  The separation for the period of communicability of infected persons or animals from other persons or animals in such places and under such conditions as will prevent the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent from infected persons or animals to other persons or animals who are susceptible or who may spread the disease to others.

(f) Local board or department of health.  The board of health or the department of public health of a city, borough, incorporated town or township of the first class, or a county department of health, or joint county department of health.

(g) Local health officer.  The head of a local department of health.

(h) Municipality.  A city, borough, incorporated town or township.

(i) Quarantine.  The limitation of freedom of movement of persons or animals who have been exposed to a communicable disease for a period of time equal to the longest usual incubation period of the disease in such manner as to prevent effective contact with those not so exposed.  Quarantine may be complete, or, as defined below, it may be modified, or it may consist merely of surveillance or segregation.

(1) Modified quarantine is a selected, partial limitation of freedom of movement, determined on the basis of differences in susceptibility or danger of disease transmission, which is designed to meet particular situations.  Modified quarantine includes, but is not limited to, the exclusion of children from school and the prohibition or the restriction of those exposed to a communicable disease from engaging in particular occupations.

(2) Surveillance is the close supervision of persons and animals exposed to a communicable disease without restricting their movement.

(3) Segregation is the separation for special control or observation of one or more persons or animals from other persons or animals to facilitate the control of a communicable disease.

(j) Regulation.  Any rule or regulation issued by the board, or any ordinance, rule or regulation enacted or issued by any municipality or county department of health, or joint county department of health, pursuant to this act.

(k) Reportable disease.  (a) Any communicable disease declared reportable by regulation;  (b) any unusual or group expression of illness which, in the opinion of the secretary, may be a public health emergency;  and (c) such non-communicable diseases and conditions for which the secretary may authorize reporting to provide data and information which, in the opinion of the Advisory Health Board, are needed in order effectively to carry out those programs of the department designed to protect and promote the health of the people of the Commonwealth, or to determine the need for the establishment of such programs.

(l) Secretary.  The State Secretary of Health.


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