Obviously, the Covid-19 outbreak is the most devastating thing to happen in living memory. However, a group of researchers called Coronasurveys (https://coronasurveys.org ) believe using global, widespread and accessible surveying of the disease can effectively trace the pathogenesis much better than repeated testing. And it is hoped, to better control and containment.
The consortium, Coronasurveys, led by Antonio Fernandez Anta, Research Professor at IMDEA Networks Institute in Spain, has gathered some interesting data already.
He said: “The inability of massive testing prevents authorities from having accurate figures on the number of people infected with the coronavirus. In the CoronaSurveys project we combine crowdsourcing, the wisdom of the crowds, and the multiplicative effect of indirect reporting to estimate this number and it evolution over time.
Among these the most innovative aspect is the use of surveys with questions in which the participant provides information of her contacts (instead of hers). This allows to effectively sample a large portion of the population with a relatively small number of responses. Additionally, this technique avoids collecting personal information from the participants, which guarantees the complete privacy of the study.”
The group have set up a website which updates every day on the reported findings, at https://coronasurveys.org/, where you can also enter data anonymously, to help track the disease. Its simple to select your country and the survey will load in your language.
We urge you all to participate in this important research. Dr. J Roberts, who is a web developer on the project, said “it is vital for future generations to be able to gather important information about the outbreak, and its also important to track what people are really experiencing, for vaccine research to succeed. I urge everyone to share this and keep adding to the data”.
All of the data collected is accessible via the public github pages for the project, which can be found here: https://github.com/AugustoGarcia/Coronasurveys-web/tree/master/results
More than this, they can be easily visualised and embedded in any web application. for example, here is a plot showing the data gathered for individual countries (simply select one):
The group hope that this data will produce important information in the absence of testing regimens which are patchy at best. In assisting with the survey, it is hoped that this will fill vital gaps in the information needed to control and assess the disease and its progress.
If you have questions about this, please contact us with the subject “coronasurveys”. Thanks.
References on Methods to Estimate the Number of Cases
- Manuel Linares, Ignacio Garitano, Laura Santos, José M Ramos. Estimation of the number of cases of COVID-19 in real time using a web form through social networks: Project COVID19-TRENDS. Medicina de Familia. SEMERGEN, April 2020.
- Hiroshi Nishiura et al. Early Epidemiological Assessment of the Virulence of Emerging Infectious Diseases: A Case Study of an Influenza Pandemic. Plos One. August 31, 2009.
- James Gorman. The Coronavirus, by the Numbers. The New York Times, March 5th, 2020.
- Ryosuke Omori, Kenji Mizumoto, Hiroshi Nishiura. Ascertainment rate of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Japan. medRXid, March 10th, 2020.
- Amy Maxmen. How much is coronavirus spreading under the radar? Nature News Explainer, March 13th, 2020.
- Alberto Fernández. Coronavirus en España (I): Razones para Actuar con Urgencia y Contundencia. Medium, March 15th, 2020.
- Timothy W Russell et al. Using a delay-adjusted case fatality ratio to estimate under-reporting. CMMID Repository, March 22nd, 2020.
- Antonio J. Durán. ¿Cómo estimar el número de infectados reales por covid-19? Los casos de Andalucía e Italia. Blog IMUS, March 23rd, 2020.
- Kiko Llaneras. Los números del coronavirus: ¿Cuántos infectados hay realmente en España? El País, March 28th, 2020.
- Flaxman et al. Estimating the number of infections and the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in 11 European countries. March 30th, 2020.
- Christian Bommer, Sebastian Vollmer. Average detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections is estimated around six percent. April 2nd, 2020.