Pandemic Revolutionized Disease Surveillance. What is this?

For the past Two years on, the hottest data in the United Kingdom has fallen every Friday. Scientists, journalists, and amateur data sleuths call for a more detailed website: The Covid-19 Infection Survey, run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), an independent government organization. With 180,000 people diagnosed every two weeks, it is one of the largest investigations of coronavirus infections and antibodies in the UK. It takes care of how many people get Covid disease at any given time and whether it is a serious problem locally or age groups. Because it covers a large segment of the population, it avoids negative feedback from internal changes in experimentation, personal style, or participation in experiments.

Selected families received a letter from the ONS inviting them to sign up for the survey. Once they are registered, the home worker visits to collect swabs from the neck and nose of each volunteer and ask a few questions. After the initial selection, volunteers have the option to continue participating in the research, which includes follow -up options that include monthly blood tests. The information gathered will be combined with the medical histories of the participants to uncover the impact of Covid -19 disease – and detection – that can affect factors such as the frequency of visits. the doctor or the health conditions that develop after the illness.

In return, participants were paid with vouchers for hotels, cinema, and shops. The app was described as “worthy of its weight in gold” because of its role in understanding Covid epidemiology and being able to respond quickly to new trends – not only in the UK, but around the world. (In times of high demand, the ONS released a midweek report of Friday’s numbers on Wednesday, including a film that was widely expected to drop teaser trailers.) “I don’t know. something comparable to other parts of the world, of course, ”said Colin Angus, a health modeler at the University of Sheffield.

A special feature of the research is randomness. Unlike day -to -day test data, which is usually collected from people who report symptoms or have been reported back to Covid, the sample is about someone else. Daily test scores can be influenced by the variability of the lifestyle associated with the availability of tests or whether there are additional tests in a given year or demographic group. “It’s the only study I’ve seen that gives me ideas that I can rely on science, because there are so many problems with trying to work in real -world data of people. just going to try it, ”said Jennifer Beam Dowd, professor of demographic and public health at the Leverhulme Center for Demographic Science at Oxford University.

But as the disease enters its third year, the UK has announced the time to “stay with Covid,” and justifying the costs of collecting public data would be misleading. In late February, the British government announced that the research would continue, but in a slimmed-down manner, with fewer participants. The UK government also announced in mid -March that funding would be cut for two other major disease studies: Funding for the React study, led by Imperial College London researchers, which tested about 150,000 people in England. each month and who is responsible for determining that A third of Covid’s cases are asymptomatic, will be discontinued by the end of March. The study by ZOE Covid, which searches for volunteer signals through an app, is also losing money. The free public trial ends on April 1, with free trials available only to the weakest.

Researchers such as Angus understand that relaxing and observing at the same time can be intelligent, because these researches act as a preconditioning system for new forms or behaviors. mysterious rages in cases. With the restrictions removed, we only have the data. “It’s like sticking your fingers in your ears and going‘ La, la, la – if I don’t look for him, then the evil is gone, ”Angus said.

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