How Contact Tracing is implemented into SIU public health courses

SIU offers contact tracing classes

CARBONDALE, IL. (KFVS) - Contact tracing is a buzz word that can be heard around the world, but contact tracing is more difficult than it sounds.

Southern Illinois University has been implementing contact tracing into it’s public health courses for some time now. Sarah Patrick, public health professor at the university mentions they have used it for other for other health related viruses.

“Right now, the big talk of course is COVID, but we’ve doing this type of work for tuberculosis, for HIV, for measles.” says Patrick

More than just contact tracing is taught in these classes on campus.

“We want to teach them, you know, ‘how do you do disease surveillance?’ What kind of case report needs to be written up and what type of information needs to be gathered, so that we get not only the contacts, but the person who is the case. That we are able to confirm they are a case.”

One of Patrick’s public health students, Brione Lockett said seeing what they learn in the real world is amazing.

“It’s pretty cool just to learn different aspects of everything. Right, it’s pretty cool seeing what were learning in the classroom being played out.” Says Lockett

Patrick says it is important for her public health students to get experience working with the pandemic.

“They got to go out and map some community assets, to get an idea of person place and time and where is this information, and to see this from a public health lens,” said Patrick.

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