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COVID-19 Symptom Map From Facebook to Forecast COVID-19 Activity in the US

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the swift spread of it, every help is needed and necessary. From preventing the spread of inaccurate information to helping people and provide courses and entertain them during the lockdowns.
In light of this matter, we have seen a lot of social media platforms take action amid the COVID-19 crisis. Talking about Facebook’s efforts in this matter from launching initiatives like the “Get Digital” initiative to widen the availability of local alerts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only that, but recently, this week, Facebook in association with Carnegie Melon has announced the first of its new Facebook COVID-19 symptom tracking maps. That might help authorities in planning for future outbreaks which work by highlighting where groups of people are experiencing the symptoms of the coronavirus across the US.

How Do the Facebook COVID-19 Symptom Maps Work?

  • The maps use self-reported symptom data from Facebook users, then pin that info onto map locations, highlighting key areas of possible spread.
    Facebook began to collect this self-reported data a few weeks back through a new News Feed prompt calling for user participation.
COVID-19 Symptom Map

Image by Social Media Today

  • This can provide key early indicators of possible problem areas, in light of that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned “Understanding how COVID-19 is spreading is critical for local governments and public health officials as they allocate scarce resources like ventilators and PPE, and eventually to decide when it is safe to start re-opening different places. Researchers believe these symptom survey maps can be an important tool in making these decisions.”
  • Facebook as well as notes that the response data is sent to researchers at Carnegie Mellon, and highlighted that it is not accessible by Facebook at any stage.
  • On the other hand, this project is similar to the “How We Feel” application, that was developed, in part, by Pinterest CEO Ben Sillbermann, besides it was launched earlier this month to help in COVID-19 symptom tracking.
An Application Tracks How Fast COVID-19 Spreads in Each US State "How We Feel App"

Image by Social Media Today

  • As for the responses, so far, have been promising, Facebook Stated “On Monday, the team at Carnegie Mellon is publishing its initial findings. They’re getting approximately 1 million responses a week in the US, and the results are promising. They correlate with publicly available data on confirmed cases, which suggests this data can help predict where the disease will spread. They can also be used to build detailed county-by-county insights. The results indicate, for example, that in some New York City suburbs, an estimated 2 to 3% of people are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms.”
  • Talking about the applications which are launched during the COVID-19, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreieger have also launched a new app that tracks how fast COVID-19 spreads in each US state.

Get a chance and check out the initial Facebook\Carnegie Mellon Facebook COVID-19 symptom maps here.

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