Health experts have been trying to slow down the spread of the virus, as the whole world grapples with the COVID19 pandemic. Keeping hand hygiene, wearing masks, and maintaining social distance have become people’s second nature now. However, a new study has found that another preventive measure might have gone wrong in the US. As per the study, half of the people who have been tested positive for COVID19 have not been able to identify their close contacts. Contact tracing is very important for containing the spread of the virus. This study has been published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study has observed a set of COVID19 patients in North Carolina where a high incidence of coronavirus has been reported. During that time, the cases of COVID19 had increased by 183 percent.
The findings of the study say that more than 48 percent of people who have been diagnosed with COVID19 infection in Mecklenburg County have not been able to report their close contacts. Nearly 25 percent of patients who have been able to identify their contact, those contacts have not been reachable. Experts have revealed that the median interval of time between the diagnosis of the first patient and reporting all the close contact, has been at least six days. Health experts say that failure of contact tracing is not restricted to one state. In states like Maryland and New Jersey, around 50 and 52 percent of COVID19 patients respectively have reported no close contacts.
The authors of the study have said that improved timelines of contact tracing and community engagement, and community-wide mitigation are crucial factors that play a big role in reducing the transmission of the virus. The app-based contact tracing has met an early obstruction in the US, unlike other countries. However, the authorities have re-launched a software called Exposure Notification Express app by Apple for successful implementation of contact tracing. It will be used by the officials of Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington DC.