Experts: contact tracing is best tool until a vaccine is available
It has quelled outbreaks of Ebola, allowed smallpox to be corralled before being vanquished by a vaccine, and helped turn HIV into a survivable illness.
And whenever a new infectious disease emerges, contact tracing is public health’s most powerful weapon for tracking transmission and figuring out how best to protect the population.
But now, as coronavirus cases are surging in hot spots across the country, the proven strategy’s efficacy is in doubt: Contact tracing failed to stanch the first wave of coronavirus infections, and today’s far more extensive undertaking will require 100,000 or more trained tracers to delve into strangers’ personal lives and persuade even some without symptoms to stay home.
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