The ideas behind contact tracing are very old.

Gabriele Falloppio© Wikimedia

Physicians such as the celebrated anatomist Gabriele Falloppio, chair of medicine at the University of Padua, the citadel of 16th-century medical learning, sought to understand the origins of the great pox (syphilis), using a different approach to the norm.

Instead of just relying on what the ancient and early medieval Arabic medical authorities had to say about diseases, Falloppio and other doctors sought to track the spread of this venereal disease by turning to contemporary histories, most prominently Christopher Columbus’s journals.

Read the full article at The Conversation.