Allison Lindsay did not dream of being a contact plotter. She arrived at New York State University in New Paltz as athletic coach in 2017. But when the university was reopened in the middle of the pandemic, she suddenly had a new job.

"It's always hard not to do what you like to do and you're trained to do," he said. "[But] I have personally found it personally satisfactory and I also believe that it is really important to contribute to the effort of the university to protect students and the community."

Contact The crawling and the intervention of the disease is not a new profession. The practice goes back to hundreds of years. But this year, contact the numbers of the plotters grew by the thousands. In college campuses, they are part of the new pandemic workforce, deployed quickly.

Until the Middle Ages, the family of the sick person and friends could be warned about the disease and stays at home. But the formal origins of the follow-up of the government's contract began in Europe at the end of the 19th century, said Graham Mooney, a professor of the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"People who had certain diseases," infectious or contagious diseases are known as smallpox, scarlet fever, cholera, and so on, their disease should be informed of local health authorities that had arisen as Formal departments in the mid-nineteenth centuries, "he said." Once you have that information that someone has a disease, it is much easier to start thinking about how it traces your contacts. "

National legislation of reports was an entrance door to empower the health departments to take other actions., As a formal contact layout, Mooney said. Before compulsory reports, governments would not be informed that a person had an infectious disease until They died of it. In the US, the states made their own rules on reporting, but in 1901, each had some requirement to notify local health authorities of cases of communicable diseases.

Disease reports and contact tracking Get a new import from the 1920s to the 1940s as therapeutic interventions for sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and gonorrhea, it was widely available, Mooney said. Due to the sensitivity of contact tracking for those diseases, health departments began to use some of the secrecy measures that we commonly see today, such as discrete packaging for anonymous forms and forms, to protect the patient's confidentiality . Many of these practices continued with the HIV / AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 90.

"Public Health Leaders [In the 1940s], strategies for interviewing, notifying and Getting in Contact with people who had potentially exposed to syphilis, and from then on, the practice really grew during the decades and evolved now is a function that practices in general in public health related to outbreaks of infectious diseases, "said David Harvey , Executive Director of the National Coalition of Std Directors.

Before Covid-19, there were only about 2,500 specialists in the intervention of the disease, which perform a contact tracking as part of a wider function, financed by the Federal Government of the United States, Harvey said . When the pandemic exploded earlier this year, the work forces of the STD and tuberculosis were redistributed and, more than 75,000 contact plotters at the entry level, were trained and contracted to control the outbreak and connect people with Tests and medical advice. Those numbers were not enough. Contact Markers have been struggled at the national level to keep up with the incredible distribution of the community in the United States.

A new role

In the university campuses, contact the plotters come from different places. Some, like Lindsay, moved from other positions. Others are university students or medical students. And others had never worked at a university or university, but they were hired by new roles.

While the contact tracking is part of the medical tradition, knowledge and skills that plotters need are not except


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