US CDC Plans to Improve Data Collection of International Air Contact Tracing


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States will take steps to improve the collection of international air passenger contact information to properly monitor public health risks.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the limitations in how the CDC collects and manages contact information of air passengers include the use of an outdated data management system by the US CDC, which is hindering the ability to monitor public health risks and facilitate contact tracing by the US CDC.

According to the report, the current data management system of the US CDC was not designed for rapid assessment of public health, and the US CDC is unable to accurately and quickly identify the number of passengers that are exposed to a specific infected passenger on a flight.

A spokeswoman of US CDC said Rochelle Walensky, director of US CDC, continues to work with the administration and Congress to improve data capabilities of US CDC. Reporting data to US CDC is vital to the ability of the agency to provide real-time and real-world data to the policy makers who will have to make guidance and recommendations to protect the people of the United States.

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The GAO also recommended the US CDC redesign and adopt a new data system to more effectively facilitate contact tracing for all the air passengers and conduct surveillance for air travel.