COVID-19: symptom tracker claims 6.6m in UK might be infected

Britain: The King’s College London had launched COVID Symptom Trackerquestionnaire, on Tuesday. Which was operated more than 1.25 million times in across the country.  There is no official way of estimating the true number of patients, experts say.

According to Government statistics fewer than 10,000 people have caught it

But estimates now put the real figure between 465,000 and 6.6million 

An app tracking people’s coronavirus symptoms in their own homes has revealed that more than 6.6million people in the UK could have had the infection already. It was downloaded around 650,000 times in the first 24 hours.By today it had been signed up to by 1.25million people and has become the third most popular download in the UK’s App Store, with some 50,000 new users per hour.

Analysis of the first 650,000 users found that 10 per cent of them have had the symptoms of the coronavirus, which causes fever, coughing and tiredness.

Health authorities in the UK aren’t testing anyone for the virus unless they’re in hospital so the app could be one of the clearest pictures of how many people are ill.

If its infection rate of one in every 10 people is applied to the UK’s population of 66million, that could mean 6.6m or more have already had the illness which has sent the world into hiding.

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The early results from the app come amid a row in Britain over a lack of widespread testing and demand that NHS workers, at the least, are tested regularly to make sure they are safe to work.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his scientific advisers are adamant that widely available tests are on their way to the public once their accuracy has been tested.

Chief scientific adviser to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallance, has suggested that 1,000 cases per death may be a reasonable way of estimating the true scale of the infection.

The UK’s death toll is 465, according to the latest data, suggesting 465,000 people could be ill.

Responses on the app are revealing that large numbers of people are reporting symptoms thought to be less common.

Professor Spector told the Telegraph that many reported losing their sense of taste, for example. 

The app works by taking basic personal information from people – their age, postcode and height and weight, for example – and then asking coronavirus specific questions.

These include whether they have a cough, a high temperature, feel tired or are struggling to breathe.

And it also asks whether users have any other health conditions such as asthma, which can raise the risk of someone becoming seriously ill if they catch the virus. 

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The wide range of symptoms that people who are infected seem to show is another thing that makes the infection difficult to track. 

Scientists in China said that up to 80 per cent of all infections caused such a mild illness that people were likely never to get diagnosed.

The most common effect of the COVID-19 viral infection is a fever, which happens in 87.9 per cent of all patients who get symptoms, according to the World Health Organization.

After this, people commonly suffer a dry cough (67.7 per cent), fatigue or exhaustion (38.1 per cent), mucous production (33.4 per cent) or shortness of breath (18.6 per cent). 

Less common symptoms include sore throat (13.9 per cent), headache (13.6 per cent), muscle pain (14.8 per cent), chills (11.4 per cent), feeling sick or vomiting (5 per cent), a blocked nose (4.8 per cent) and diarrhoea (3.7 per cent).

Officials in the UK have promised to ramp up coronavirus testing in the country and PM Boris Johnson pledged the number of daily tests would be hiked from 5,000 to 25,000.

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