ATLANTA, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A father-son team that includes a Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) professor has launched Count COVID - a survey that tracks symptoms of participants in an effort to assess the spread of COVID-19. Initial data has been gathered, and the survey is now being expanded, as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise.
The survey - developed by Dr. David Ku and his son, Ben Ku - prompts participants to fill out six questions via the online questionnaire on a daily basis - even if they are asymptomatic. The data gathered can help track COVID-19 symptoms to identify geographic patterns in virus outbreak as well as locations where the virus is subsiding. This allows health officials to track symptoms and direct appropriate resources.
The information gathered helps determine if areas are approaching herd immunity and provides a better understanding of coronavirus prevalence to allow local officials to evaluate potential adjustments to ordinances without widespread testing.
"Other forms of testing are expensive, and unfortunately, not widely available. The sampling of data generated by Count COVID provides reliable estimates of community infection rapidly and at minimal costs," said Dr. David Ku. "We've all been touched in one way or another by COVID-19. And there are still not enough tests for everyone. This is an easy way we can all give back and help track the virus."
Initial findings show a community prevalence of 7% in Georgia - this is approximately 40 times greater than reported confirmed cases. These findings were analyzed from 3,161 cases reported to CountCOVID.org. The results indicate that prevalence and incidence of COVID-19 symptoms in the community can be estimated by a crowd-sourced website like CountCOVID.org at considerably less expense than widespread PCR testing.
Dr. David Ku is the Lawrence P. Huang Chair Professor of Engineering Entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech, a Regents' Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship's Program for Engineering Entrepreneurship. His work is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. Ben Ku is an established programming expert and a commissioner for Gwinnett County.
The website for the survey was developed by doctors, scientists and engineers at Georgia Tech, Emory School of Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Gwinnett County government offices. Participants can take the survey by visiting www.countcovid.org and are encouraged to take the survey daily - even if people feel well. All data captured by the survey is anonymous and secure.
About Georgia Institute of Technology:
The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is one of the nation's leading research universities, providing a focused, technologically based education to more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Institute has many nationally recognized programs, and is ranked among the nation's top five public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It offers degrees through the Colleges of Computing, Design, Engineering, Sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary research that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to government, industry, and business.
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SOURCE The Georgia Institute of Technology