The authorities’ contact tracing strategy will be strengthened from July. So far, only the tracing of contact cases of a person positive for the virus has been carried out. An in-depth investigation will now be carried out upstream of the contamination.

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Reinforced contact tracing to fight against the delta variant

Trace Covid patients, to their place of contamination. This is the promise of this new method used by Health Insurance: retro tracing. It complements the classic tracing of contact cases and is intended to be more efficient in tracing the chains of contamination.

“In tracing, we look for people who may have been infected by a positive person that we have in front of us. In the retro-tracing, we also ask him under what circumstances he himself was contaminated, to go and look for people who may have become infected in the same circumstances ” explains Pr Renaud Piarroux, epidemiologist, at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris.

A 40-minute survey

Concretely, when a person is positive for Covid, a Health Insurance investigator calls them and searches with them for their contact cases in the previous three days. But in addition to that, the investigator goes back up the chain of events in which the patient took part, in an attempt to target the moment of contamination and find people who could have been infected at the same time.

Faced with the Delta variant which is gaining ground in France, retrotracing can be a new weapon. An in-depth investigation, lasting 40 minutes on average, which therefore requires a low level of circulation of the virus to be effective. And which is also based on the transparency of the people questioned.

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