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Editor,—Over the past decade vast numbers of the general population have accepted the internet, email, and mobile phones. Among new patients attending our centre 70.3% (90/118) of men and 73.7% (98//133) of women provide mobile telephone numbers for contact. However, the use of mobile phones as a mechanism for contact tracing as far as I am aware has not been reported previously.
A 26 year old Afro-Caribbean man presented to our clinic and informed us that his girlfriend had attended a GUM clinic but unfortunately he did not know why. However, he informed us that he had a text message on his mobile. He duly brought up the message, which gave the woman's clinic number and the KC60 diagnosis of C6A.
On examination there were no abnormalities seen, there were no polymorphs on microscopy, swabs for gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and trichomonas were all clear. He was treated with a 5 day course of metronidazole as per MSSVD guidelines.
If this patient had turned up without a contact slip, epidemiological treatment of trichomonas is unlikely to have been instituted and contact tracing would have been impossible. Thanks to the use of text messaging on this man's mobile phone, appropriate treatment was initiated. Certainly patients and health advisers appreciate the security offered by mobile phones (no other family members can take the calls), the instant access, and it avoids additional paper work. The use of text messaging and mobile phones for contact tracing may be considered as an adjunct to contact slips in GU clinics.
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