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Social Distancing May Worsen Epidemic Outcomes

Social distancing requirements could have counterintuitive outcomes, according to one study, which suggests the behavioral changes triggered by social distancing could ultimately worsen the disease outcome and increase the size of the final epidemic

During an epidemic or pandemic, public health officials may enforce social distancing as a method to control the spread of a pathogen. However, at least one study suggests the ultimate changes in contact patterns triggered by social distancing measures could end up having a negative effect on the population and, in some cases, even worsen the outcome of the epidemic.[i]

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