Originally Posted by Storm Bride
When was this? I grew up before MMR (I've had both measles and mumps...not rubella). When those diseases were in circulation, people stayed home, sure. It wasn't because they were infectious, though. People didn't even talk about that side of it much. They stayed home because they were sick. When I had mumps, I spent the entire day on the couch, dozing off regularly. Going to school wasn't an option. And, for all everybody stayed home, about 40% of my class was out sick with measles in 1984, so it still manages to circulate very thoroughly (when you figure that measles had also gone around when I was little, so some of us, including me, were already immune for the 10th grade epidemic).
I still have to remind myself of threads like this on a regular basis, so I don't do any of these things. It would never have occurred to me to keep a sick kid home on Hallowe'en, unless they were too sick to ToT. I stop and think about these threads every time my children are sick. It's still a strange mindset to me, but I am following it.
HEre's an interesting historical document:http://books.google.com/books?id=0Og...age&q=&f=false
IT's a book of public health laws passed in the US by the states during 1915.
Flipping through it, I see state after state law requiring quarantine for measles, mumps, diptheria, chicken pox.
Check out page 188 and following. The state of Illinois required immediate
reporting to the local health authorities of all cases of chicken pox. Placards were then affixed to each outside entrance of the house, 10x15 inches, declaring that there was pox within. The affected child was confined to that building for 2 weeks, or until skin was smooth. All other children in the family were confined to that building for 2 weeks from date of last exposure.
Quarantine for whooping cough was EIGHT weeks from first "whoop." Other children who had not had whooping cough were excluded from school and supposed to be kept home for 2 weeks.
Measles patients were quarantined for 14 days from the beginning of the disease, and were excluded from school for 3 weeks from the onset of disease.
This really is how infectious diseases were treated, prevaccinne and ESPECIALLY before antibiotics came along to deal with secondary bacterial infections. People treated these diseases very seriously -- not with the offhand "Oh, they were no big deal!!" that people seem to think now. It wasn't "Go about your business, everyone gets these diseases." People just didn't take their kids around infecting everyone so that their kids could "have fun." If you had somethign infectious, you were supposed to be home, getting better.
It is possible to eliminate some diseases with effective quarantine alone. New Zealand (or Australia, I forget) eliminated smallpox without vaccinations through rigourous quarantine programs.
PS: MMR, possibly separate, were all available by the time I was born in '69.