Contact tracing revs up in some states as omicron reaches US – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-12-04 14:33:15 –

With the arrival of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in the United States, some communities are trying to slow down and better understand its spread as scientists study how contagious it is and how it can block the vaccine. Health authorities are reviving contact tracing operations.

Dr. Marcus Precia, Chief Health Officer of the State and Territory Health Officials Association, said in the coming days, with uncertainties about how effective vaccines and treatments such as monoclonal antibodies would be. Increasingly, “contact tracing efforts are expected. Oppose omicron.

Contact tracing is an important tool for pandemic response, allowing the health department to notify people in close contact with infected individuals and slow the progression of COVID-19.

“Contact tracing gives us information about how it’s spreading, and hopefully breaks the chain of communication to stop clusters and outbreaks, or at least we know more about: You can delay them until you understand what the steps need to be, “said senior scholar Crystal Watson at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at Bloomberg Public Health School.

Much is still unknown about the variants, but early reports have warned. The number of new COVID-19 cases in South Africa, which first warned the world of Omicron last week, surged from about 200 cases a day in mid-November to more than 16,000 cases on Friday.

Some cases in the United States involve people who have never traveled recently. This means that this variant may already be endemic in some parts of the country.

Health investigators across the United States have been overwhelmed by the proliferation of delta variants, reducing contact tracing operations, catching up with floods of new infections, vaccination, and nearly impossible to trace at the same time. I noticed that there was.

Many health authorities ultimately focused on school exposure and potential superspreading events that put a large number of people at risk of exposure.

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, predicts that it will eventually occur in Omicron.

“Contact tracing and sequencing will allow us to paint with a wide range of brushes,” says Schaffner. “But we can’t keep track of all the cases. At some point, we know it’s here and spread, so why should we do that?”

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