Be the agent of change and help science - while the restrictions ease, COVID-19 is far from over!

May 18, 2020

 

The Immunisation Coalition calls on all Australians to use their electronic devices to help scientists understand COVID-19 better by recording important information about their symptoms! Having greater knowledge about COVID-19 will help us manage the disease better.

Melbourne May 19th 2020 -- We may have to live with COVID-19 for a long time. Our fight against the pandemic is currently compromised because there is so much we don’t know about it.

 

Some people report fever or fatigue, while others loss of smell or taste. It is important that we understand the early symptoms of the disease.

 

By collecting information about symptoms we will be better able to define early warning signs:

  • So people can get tested and self-isolate

  • To improve application of treatments when they become available

  • To identify clusters of symptoms at any given postcode so we can undertake more testing in that area, or ask people to stay home in that suburb, rather than locking down whole cities or states.

Dr Rod Pearce, Chairman of the Immunisation Coalition: ‘While we have managed to flatten the curve it remains unclear how many people in the community suffer from symptoms – in short we need to detect every sniffle to get some solid data of community spread. In order to live with COVID-19 and to safely get back to a new normal, we need flexible and rich data sources.’

 

The Immunisation Coalition, Australia’s leading voice on vaccine preventable diseases, launches a powerful, real-time web based app this week to track COVID-19 symptoms in the community: https://www.unlockingaustralia.org.au/‘

 

The new Australian made COVID-19 Symptom tracker is complementary to the expansion of community testing and we are urging Australians to get on board and report their symptoms’, explains Kim Sampson, CEO of the Immunisation Coalition.

 

Sampson explains: ‘If we can get a large number of people in Australia (ideally 500,000) to record their health status every day, scientists can see trends to inform new public health guidelines.​ As scientists see patterns in early indicators, we can then start to predict any upsurge in the disease, ahead of formal testing, so as to better inform resource planning.’ ​

 

The Unlocking Australia app is the property of the Immunisation Coalition. We are working with the Public Health Information Development Unit (PHIDU) at Torrens University where the analysis of the information will be undertaken.

 

PHIDU has for more than 20 years been tracking and reporting on population health in Australia.

 

Biz Hub Australia developed the symptom tracker tool and provided it at no cost to the Immunisation Coalition.

 

Note: The Unlocking Australia App is not an alternative to the Australian Government's COVIDSafe app. It is in fact complementary to the Government's app, because it tracks symptoms, while COVIDsafe tracks people.

 

You can find out more about COVIDsafe at https://www.australia.gov.au.

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