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Contact tracing is ‘shambles’

12 Sep, 2014

The disease detection technique of contact tracing cannot be done properly in Sierra Leone due to unreliable information. The UN says only 16 of 44 zones in west Africa have sufficient details on people who have come into contact with Ebola patients. U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Rebecca Levine describes the Health Ministry’s database:

Pretty much in shambles.

Contact tracing identifies people who have come into contact with an infected person and monitors them for 21 days. If they develop the disease, they are isolated and their contacts are tracked down. She says many contacts’ addresses are missing or vague, like ‘down by the farm road. In all, only 20% to 30% of the contacts in the database had a usable address.