Modelling the impact of contact tracing of symptomatic individuals on the COVID-19 epidemic
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OBJECTIVES: With the declining numbers of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, social distancing measures have gradually been lifted. However, the risk of a surge in the number of cases cannot be overlooked. Even with the adoption of nonpharmaceutical interventions, such as restrictions on mass gatherings, wearing of masks, and complete or partial closure of schools, other public health measures may help control the epidemic. We aimed to evaluate the impact of the contact tracing of symptomatic individuals on the COVID-19 epidemic regardless of the use of diagnostic testing. METHODS: We developed a mathematical model that includes isolation of symptomatic individuals and tracing of contacts to assess the effects of the contact tracing of symptomatic individuals on the COVID-19 epidemic in the state of São Paulo. RESULTS: For a selection efficacy (proportion of isolated contacts who are infected) of 80%, cases and deaths may be reduced by 80% after 60 days when 5000 symptomatic individuals are isolated per day, each of them together with 10 contacts. On the other hand, for a selection efficacy of 20%, the number of cases and deaths may be reduced by approximately 40% and 50%, respectively, compared with the scenario in which no contact-tracing strategy is implemented. CONCLUSION: Contact tracing of symptomatic individuals may potentially be an alternative strategy when the number of diagnostic tests available is not sufficient for massive testing.
Amaku M, Covas DT, Coutinho FAB, Azevedo RS, Massad E. Modelling the impact of contact tracing of symptomatic individuals on the COVID-19 epidemic. Clinicis. 2021 Mar;76::e2639. doi:10.6061/clinics/2021/e2639.
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