Contact tracing and backtracing
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 crisis, e.g.
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)
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