→Impact of Contact Tracing
==Impact of Contact Tracing==
Contact tracing has transformed public health and epidemiology since its inception. The most recent advances have to do with the use of mobile phone data. The 2015 MERS outbreak shaped South Korea's experience with a major viral outbreak. The use of mobile phones and tracing someone's whereabouts was used under powers issued to the government. This experience helped South Korea and other East Asian countries pioneer the use of such data to track how individuals movements may affect the transmission of an infectious disease. While this was used initially in the MERS outbreak, the use in the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak proved essential for South Korea, China, and other east Asian countries in limiting the overall impact of COVID-19. While the use of mobile data for Western states is only now being applied, it also remains controversial given concerns over location data and personal data sharing. Nevertheless, it is clear from the history of contact tracing, even without the use of mobile phones, tracking someone's whereabouts and the likely community in which they could spread infection is critical in reducing infection rates. The example of syphilis, cholera, tuberculosis, and smallpox all demonstrate this even without the use of mobile phones.