The University of Alabama at Birmingham has launched a new tool to help researchers and experts track the spread of COVID-19.
Experts at UAB have created a symptom checker they say can be used to “identify hot spots” where the virus is spreading.” Users log onto the website to report any symptoms they are experiencing.
The site, HelpBeatCOVID19.org, is available now and will help get information to the researchers about what symptoms are being seen as well as give underserved areas better representation.
“As people present more symptoms in these communities, public health officials will be able to look at populations in specific ZIP codes, gaining timely information to help identify priorities during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. “This information will fill a void in coronavirus reporting and be of great value to help lessen the threat to public health in the Southeast. The new tool could help identify new community outbreaks more effectively taking into account all aspects of lives of the people in that community.”
This tracker, unlike those used for previous disease outbreaks, also looks at economic and other factors in the pattern of spread.