Mathematical models of contact tracing for SARS and MERS

Added June 26, 2020

Citation: Kwok KO, Tang A, Wei VW, et al. Epidemic Models of Contact Tracing: Systematic Review of Transmission Studies of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Computational and structural biotechnology journal. 2019 Jan 26;17:186-94.

What is this? Contact tracing is being used to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Existing research on contact tracing models from previous coronavirus epidemics might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for modelling studies which incorporated contact tracing and follow-up control measures in transmission predictions of SARS or MERS infection. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the search in October 2018. They included seven studies, which looked at transmission on an individual (3 studies) or population level (4).

What was found: Mathematical models can help inform policy makers about the potential effectiveness of different interventions, including contact tracing, in coronavirus epidemics, but their results should be interpreted with caution.


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