Contact Tracing Study

I’m starting to explore Contact Tracing .. a critical part in detecting the spread.

Some learnings from an early release CDC paper titled “COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020” that I came across today. The Abstract:

During January 26–February 10, 2020, an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus disease in an air-conditioned restaurant in Guangzhou, China, involved 3 family clusters. The airflow direction was consistent with droplet transmission. To prevent the spread of the virus in restaurants, we recommend increasing the distance between tables and improving ventilation.

Now it’s important to note that this an early release .. but it contains a lot of contact tracing research. Aa few bits from the report .. many of which we’ve already learned:

  • COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets (visible drops or invisible aerosol).
  • It can stay infectious in the droplets.
  • The lighter droplets can ‘hang’ in the air.
  • Air movement can transmit the lighter droplets.

We also know:

  • COVID-19 is incredibly infectious, and may be the most infections in the early stages.
  • Human-to-human transmission was proven early.
  • The incubation period is long enough to allow someone who has it to travel virtually anywhere on the planet.
  • Infected are capable of spreading the virus when showing no symptoms.

This snap from the CDC study:

Annotation 2020-04-20 001140

  • A restaurant. Large tables are circles, small circles are people.
  • Three feet between tables.
  • A1 is the index patient.
  • The air in the room is in motion.
  • Dates of infection noted.

The report goes into more detail .. describing the AC unit has an intake which explains how air could move back to Table C, infecting two people there.

So, knowing this, we must take into account many aspects of social gatherings:

  • Distance apart from each other.
  • Duration together (longer exposer time heightens the risk).
  • Number of people.
  • The physical environment (in this case, air movement is a significant factor)
  • Masks .. not to protect us, but to protect others from us.

Lots to learn.

Stay connected. Stay safe. Stay home.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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