Virginia Tech, Harvard researchers studying most effective way to stop spread of COVID-19

Research looks at isolation versus symptom monitoring

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A new research study is underway by a Virginia Tech professor in collaboration with researchers at Harvard. The results show that individual quarantines will be the best defense against future outbreaks of COVID-19.

They used mathematical models to study how effective contact tracing is, using data about how the virus acts and how quickly it spreads.

Instead of just monitoring your symptoms and going about your daily life if you’ve come in contact with someone who’s infected, researchers found that isolation and quarantine are the best ways to stop the spread: 96% effective.

“Though the symptom monitoring is not completely useless, it’s just not nearly as useful as quarantine for the case of COVID-19 in contrast to some other diseases," said Lauren Childs, an assistant professor of mathematics at Virginia Tech who helped with the research.

As a comparison, just monitoring your symptoms, they found, is only 12% effective at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

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