Contract Tracing Is Crucial to Control Spread of SARS-CoV-2


Genome Data Help Track Community Spread of COVID-19

by NIH Director’s Blog/Dr. Francis Collins

Contact tracing, a term that’s been in the news lately, is a crucial tool for controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It depends on quick, efficient identification of an infected individual, followed by identification of all who’ve recently been in close contact with that person so the contacts can self-quarantine to break the chain of transmission.

Properly carried out, contact tracing can be extremely effective. It can also be extremely challenging when battling a stealth virus like SARS-CoV-2, especially when the virus is spreading rapidly.

But there are some innovative ways to enhance contact tracing. In a new study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers in Australia demonstrate one of them: assembling genomic data about the virus to assist contact tracing efforts. This so-called genomic surveillance builds on the idea that when the virus is passed from person to person over a few months, it can acquire random variations in the sequence of its genetic material. These unique variations serve as distinctive genomic “fingerprints.”

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  1. If the goal is to allow the movement of society for the sake of the economy, then tracing is a good tool. If we just shut it down to a skeleton crew, then the tracing could be focused on them. If Republicans want everything to open, but not use tracing, then they are killing people on purpose. That is why I say they are thwarting mitigation while encouraging infection at the behest of Britains lead. The “herd immunity” crowd, is the op that is killing people.

    • David, We cannot have herd immunity without a vaccine or without the greater portion of the population being already immune to COVID-19. We do not have either….and with the immunity of those who do get COVID-19, it is really uncertain at this time if it is everlasting for goes away….the common cold coronavirus we can get over and over again….the big difference is that it’s track record for killing people is non-existent compared to COVID-19.

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