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Individuals who are concerned about the coronavirus can now use a simple online assessment tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Microsoft to get some guidance.
The self-testing 'bot' — and interactive software tool — asks users a series of questions to determine whether or not their symptoms merit further assessment for the virus.
"Testing supplies remain limited across much of the nation," Rae Bond, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society executive director, said in a new release. "The assessment tool lets people review their symptoms and suggests next steps in different situations. Of course, if people have a fever of 100.4 or higher or significant respiratory symptoms they should call their doctor or urgent care facility. With milder symptoms the tool can provide some helpful reassurance."
Featured on the CDC webpage located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html, the tool can be accessed by patients by clicking the blue box at the top of the page labelled, "Coronavirus Self-Checker." The tool is also available on the Medical Society website, as well as the CHI Memorial and Erlanger hospital websites.
People are understandably concerned by the spread of COVID-19, Bond said. However, due to a backlog in testing and shortage of supplies, testing is currently directed to individuals with specific symptoms or specific traits, such as recent foreign travel.
"This tool is a helpful addition in our community response to COVID-19," Bond said. "Our hope is that people will spend a few short moments answering some simple questions before they pick up the phone. Our best tools in this fight are social distancing, self-quarantine and thorough hand washing."