How contact tracing works and what it could mean for getting back to normal

Dr. Emily Gurley, an infectious disease epidemiologist, explains contact tracing and how it’s done.
4:06 | 05/21/20

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Transcript for How contact tracing works and what it could mean for getting back to normal
We often hear that contact tracing is one of the keys to slowing the spread of covet nineteen and returning to a more normal way of life but. What exactly is contact tracing and how was it Don while. Here to tell us what we need to know is an infectious disease. Epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of public health doctor and lonely girl Lisa doctor girly thank you for being with us and you can answer that first question what is contact tracing. And how does that work. Well it's nice to be here and I'm happy to talk about contact tracing because LA. Think it is one of the best ways for us to reopen parts of our society. With some confidence. That transmission isn't going to get out of control. So the buyers who lives on us and our connections to each other to propagate to spread and contact tracing practically is reaching out to people calling people. Who are infected with the other nineteen or who have been exposed. And also the access. And helping to let them know and get. The advice and the tools that they need so they can change their behavior. And not transmit to anyone also asking people to change that they do. Zoo to stop the spread and it's important note this is not a new. Weapon here or in battling a virus contact freezing has been used in the past successfully. Tracing is used every day for other diseases and outbreaks you're absolutely right it's nothing new it's been around as long as meat had a concept of public health. And so what should someone expected may get that call from a contact tracer. So it even call there are two reasons first you had a test but could in nineteen and it's operatives. City should be expecting a cough so public health is gonna reach out to you. I got had to do laying it makes you happy with you need to and including access to medical care they're gonna talk about what you're doing to stop the spread to other people and what you need to do. To make sure you don't attract anyone else. And then they're going to find out. Whom. You may have been tactics mom hoot who you had contact with while Bennett factions. And it's important to find those people because they been exposed. And they could also be infectious. As you probably know people can be expected to this buyer rest. And never know X they may never develop signs or symptoms and again they're gonna help EU. Come up with a strategy to lend me your contact with people you live wed and make sure that you're not having any other contact with people that didn't give this virus more opportunities to spread and the community icon. But it's important to remember that they're never gonna ask you enough. Your Social Security number or your credit card information they're calling to help you. Because I was literally about to ask you about fraud because you know a lot of people have taken this tragedy in and used it to trying get information personal information from people so. That's important for people to remember you are the lead instructor for this. Online contact tracing course. What are your tracers learning. So there. This does a course that consists of online lectures Nvidia's and it's designed to take people who had. They had no background in public health I practice disease is that all and give him all the basics they need to know. To be able to go on to a more. In death on the job training at the contact tracer. So move. It's available to anyone it's three people are taking it is because they wanted to have a contact tracing is and more about it is easy. You're welcome to do that. But a lot of people are taking it because they want to become contact tracers and and I think Kurds and to reach out to their local Health Department since he wouldn't miss it says there are to ramp up contact tracing there. Yet and hopefully it will lead us to a path of a new normal doctor annaly girly thank you so much for your time in your explanation your expertise we appreciate it. My closer thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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