Project led by IMDEA Networks' researchers to measure the real impact of Covid-19 using social netw

The Coronasurveys project is a means to determine the incidence of infections of the pandemic caused by SCovid-19 using anonymous surveys. This, combined with a network scale up method has been shown to accurately determine infection rates in Spain
By: IMDEA
 
 
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MADRID - July 22, 2020 - PRLog -- The project called CoronaSurveys was created to "Measure the Iceberg" and was based on the idea that the iceberg has a visible tip – in this case, the number of confirmed cases - but below that tip, submerged and out of sight, is the rest of the block of ice, one of uncertain dimensions, and which can sink any vessel that does not know its real size. In order to get to a number that is closer to the real number of people affected by Covid-19, the team led by Antonio Fernández Anta published the first surveys on Twitter in Spanish in mid-March. Over the weeks since then, the project has expanded to almost global dimensions. Currently the surveys cover 150 countries and 60 languages.

The survey is open to everyone to participate. It initially asked respondents only three questions: from which geographical area can you provide data; how many people do you know in the area; and how many people in that area do you know who have Covid-19 symptoms or who may have had contact with the disease? Now, it also asks about recent cases, so that outbreaks can be spotted. One of the objectives when designing the data search method was to scrupulously respect data protection laws. Consequently, the survey is anonymous and doesn't collect any information that could lead to the identification of either the participants or the patients counted.

From the data collected daily in the surveys, the researchers have been able to obtain estimates which, as they have verified, are very close to the most accurate data on the incidence of the disease available, such as those obtained from the serological study launched by the Spanish Government, but at a much lower cost: "Bearing in mind that in the seroprevalence study more than 100,000 tests have been done, its cost must have been at least one million euros, while our study, without counting the hours and resources contributed by volunteers, has cost less than 2,500 euros", explains Antonio Fernández Anta, researcher at IMDEA Networks, an institute supported by the Community of Madrid.

To make participation easier, the project has an application for mobile phones that facilitates the collaboration of citizens. This application is available for both Android and iOS.

More information about the project: http://coronasurveys.org/ (https://coronasurveys.org/)

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Antonio Fernández Anta
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