More than 370,000 people in the UK have symptomatic COVID-19, according to an application that tracks the virus “in real time”.
Professor Tim Spector, head of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said that the COVID symptom tracker, which has been downloaded by almost 2.7 million people, is generating an “unprecedented” amount of data on illness in the community.
The application figures are more than double the 148,377 that have tested positive, according to official figures from the Ministry of Health.
Those behind the application tracker say that it is the largest community-based COVID surveillance in the world and could therefore play a key role in helping to mitigate the coronavirus lockout and provide an early warning of COVID-19[female[feminine hot spots and clusters that ignite.
It also helped identify a number of other common symptoms beyond those identified by the official list, including loss of taste and odor and chronic fatigue.
“Many of the new symptoms that have arisen are not reflected in hospital statistics and death records,” said Professor Spector.
“Everyone knows that fever and a persistent cough are known as the classic symptoms – this is what you need to be tested at the moment – but they are only part of the story,” a- he added.
“Maybe two-thirds of people have other symptoms that are also very predictive of having a positive swab test and being infectious and the main one that we’ve seen is actually loss of taste and ‘odour.
“About 12% of people with symptoms have this very strange symptom and it appears very suddenly.
“There are not many other things that cause it and so it is highly predictive that you have been infected and for the time being, the official advice is always not to take it seriously if you do not have fever. “
“Yet many people are in this position – they have a mild illness, they have lost their taste and they should really be isolated from others. “
He also said, “Fatigue is another – such severe fatigue that you can’t get out of bed. You do not have a fever – this is also another indication.
“There’s a whole list of them and … you can have different symptoms on different days.” We can predict which of these symptoms is likely to lead you to the hospital and which is going to be a mild illness. “
Professor Spector said the application offered “an incredible radar system to protect our country and those who need it most.”
He said, “Millions are recording what’s going on every day.
“This gives us an unprecedented amount of data – something we really miss in this country about what’s going on in the population with this disease, which has many ways of presenting that we didn’t really know before.
“Many new symptoms appear and do not appear in hospital statistics and death registers.
“Because we see things at least a week, maybe 12 days before they are hospitalized, so we are able to follow these trends.
“So we are able to see in real time what is really going on in the country, which is extremely important for everyone to know – both locally, but also nationally where we feed the data . “
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With the data being sent to authorities across the UK, Professor Spector said: “We are working on ways to predict where the hotspots are going to be, as we think this is going to be really important as the plateaus disappear and we will get, say, less than 100,000 cases across the country.
“As the lock is relaxed, perhaps in some areas more than others, we can begin to see how there could be a new collection of symptoms.
“A small spark could occur in part of the country and we can send teams to go investigate, isolate and lock them a week before we do it with another method.”
“The more people using this app in the country, the more we can get everyone on board and therefore be more relaxed about making it easier to know that we have a radar system in place to track it.” “
He also said that he had identified other common symptoms of infection.