03
June
2020
|
14:41
Europe/London

New tool computes risk of getting COVID-19

More than 150 experts from 35 countries have developed an online tool that allows anyone to calculate their risk of contracting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

The tool - called ‘Your COVID-19 Risk’ - helps estimate the risk you may be putting yourself –and those around you– of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

The tool also collects data internationally, which the team hope will be able to help governments and health agencies on the best measures to take in their region.

Many of the volunteers are psychologists, specializing in behavior change, though epidemiologists, virologists and other professions are also part of the team.

One of the volunteers is Dr Tracy Epton, a behaviour change expert, from The University of Manchester.

She said: “Until we have a vaccine behaviour needs to take centre stage if we are to combat this dreadful virus.

“The advice we provide is based on theory and evidence - it is personalised dependent upon the answers people give. It not only tells people what they need to do to reduce their risk but how to do it.

“This way, users can minimize the risk to themselves and their loved ones.”

Until we have a vaccine behaviour needs to take centre stage if we are to combat this dreadful virus. The advice we provide is based on theory and evidence - it is personalised dependent upon the answers people give. It not only tells people what they need to do to reduce their risk but how to do it. This way, users can minimize the risk to themselves and their loved ones
Dr Tracy Epton

She added: “This would not have been possible without an extremely rigorous, systematic, and scalable approach, which manifested itself in the project’s infrastructure.

“The more people that use the tool, the more information we get. This will enable governments and health agencies to keep improving their messages to the general public.”

The tool measures things which we all have some form of control – and can do something about but does not include risks related to underlying health conditions.

It uses three risk factors: hand hygiene, keeping sufficient distance in public places, and avoiding going out to compute how at risk people are in contracting and in spreading the virus.

The tool is based on key behavioural risk factors related to contracting and spreading the virus published in scientific articles since COVID-19's first appearance in December 2019.

To use the tool, visit Your COVID-19 Risk at https://your-covid-19-risk.com/.

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