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USF researchers asking people to participate in survey about COVID-19

USF received 9,000 responses in the past month
Posted at 7:22 PM, May 27, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — Researchers with the University of South Florida are asking the public to complete a survey about COVID-19.

The university released the survey in April. USF received about 9,000 responses so far.

The survey asks people if they have COVID-19 symptoms like fever, dry cough and muscle aches. It also asks people the ZIP Code and county where they live.

"No personal identifiers so there's no way of tracking the data back. We just ask them to fill out their age, their sex and whether they have any coexisting conditions," said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, co-director of the Center for Global Health Infectious Disease Research with the University of South Florida.

Coexisting conditions include asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or COPD.

Dr. Thomas Unnasch said it is necessary to identify COVID-19 hot spots.

"What I hope to do is provide one more tool we can use to really rapidly identify new outbreaks as they're coming out," said Dr. Unnasch.

The survey identified two hot spots, including ZIP Code 33612 in Hillsborough County near USF, and the area to the north in the 33647 ZIP Code.

"It's going to be really important for us to identify new outbreaks before they actually into a wildlife and control them," said Dr. Unnasch.

Dr. Unnasch gives survey information to the Florida Department of Health and county leaders.

The survey is available online. Please click on the link: bit.ly/TampaBayCOVID19/.