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Most Using Online COVID-19 Tool Report Mild, Moderate Symptoms

Authors say self-assessment tool could ease burden on health care system, collect useful information

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of individuals using an online COVID-19 self-assessment tool report mild or moderate symptoms possibly associated with COVID-19, according to research published online June 15 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

William M. Mehring, from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues developed a web-based COVID-19 self-assessment tool, available in English and Spanish, and report the results of 276,560 digital self-assessments.

The researchers report that of the 5,611 users who entered optional demographic data, 61 percent were female (mean age, 39 years). In more than two-thirds of self-assessments (69.6 percent), users reported symptoms potentially attributable to COVID-19. Among the reported symptoms potentially attributable to COVID-19, the majority (80.5 percent) reported mild or moderate symptoms that could likely be managed with home self-care, while 19.5 percent reported severe symptoms for which the tool recommended immediate medical attention. Of individuals reporting mild symptoms, 7.1 percent said they had direct exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19.

"The widespread use of our tool highlights the willingness of the public to engage with digital health tools and self-assessment in this time of public health crisis," the authors write.

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