The quarantine field was a medical invention that isolated a patient and/or the doctor and kept them separate from the environment while providing them with a sterile surrounding.
Quarantine fields had not been perfected by the 22nd century. Doctors wearing surgical masks and surgical gloves were a common sight back then. By the 24th century, medical procedures without the quarantine field were nearly unthinkable. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")
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