Contact tracing and backtracing

Endorsed by

Contact tracing (also known as partner notification) is a primary means of controlling infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Contact tracing has also played an important role in controlling the COVID-19 spread. Backtracing is similar to contact tracing, but concentrates on tracing back the movements of infected persons. Similar functionality may be required in other types of , e.g. 

Potential Solutions

When a person is diagnosed with an infectious disease, contact tracing commences. This has two components: to find out who the infected person has been in contact with while they were infectious, and to identify who the infected person may have caught the disease from. This enables actions such as testing and quarantine to limit the spread of disease.

Contact tracing is relatively easy for e.g. sexually transmitted diseases, since most people can easily identify all their sexual partners in the last few weeks or months. This is not the case for infectious diseases that spread more easily, e.g. through airborne transmission such as tuberculosis, measles and chicken pox. 

This therefore primarily addresses technical means for backtracing the movement of the patients. Ideally, the solutions should also aid automatic discovery of all the people they met (e.g. for infectious diseases transmitted by contact) or who simply crossed their way (e.g. for diseases transmitted by aerosols). Moreover, the solutions should be compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Rationale & related CM function(s)

Solutions should provide (technical) means for backtracking the movement of the patients in space and time, so that these movements can be used to cross-correlate their whereabouts with those of others.
Solution should provide a way for discovering other people who might have been infected by our patient, as well as the potential source of infection (person who infected our patient).
Solution should provide a way for contacting potentially infected persons and informing them what to do.
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