Rapid Response to COVID-19 Survey Helps Inform Predictive Models in Nevada

April 3, 2020

In Nevada, 14 000 citizens quickly report on COVID-19 signs and symptoms to enhance predictive public health models and inform containtment strategies for the state.

A community-based population heatlh study in Nevada reported findings of an online survey that garnered 14 000 responses in 1 week on signs and symptoms associated wtih COIVD-19 and on potential contact with known cases of the virus. 

The survey, deployed by the The Healthy Nevada Project, is part of an effort to ehhance predictive health models for the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Healthy Nevada Project combines genetic, clinical, environmental and social data and offers free genetic testing to Nevadans interested in learning  about their health and genetic profile. Using the study’s online survey tools, a population health research team deployed a 13-question on-line survey that included questions about possible exposure and risks of the novel COVID-19 virus, such as recent domestic and international travel, attendance at large public events, and if participants are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever.

Initial data show that:

  • 22% (3,080) of respondents reported travel outside the state in the past 14 days, but very few (<700) had travelled to or been in contact with individuals recently in China, Iran, or Italy.

  • ~30% (4,100) of respondents had taken their temperature in the previous 48 hours, with 5% (>than 200 individuals) reporting they had an elevated temperature.

"Nevada's ability to test patients suspected (or at high risk) for COVID-19 on a broader scale is extremely important to containing this pandemic and ensuring proper treatment," said Anthony Slonim, MD, DrPH, president and CEO of Renown Health.

"The data that Healthy Nevada Project participants are sharing with us is critical to helping our IHI (Institute for Health Innovation) data scientists and researchers better understand, anticipate and plan for Nevada's broader population level health risks in the coming weeks and months."

Other insights from the initial Healthy Nevada Project, COVID-19 survey results include:

  • 17% (~2,400) had experienced a dry cough in the past 14 days.

  • 3.8% reported to be in known contact with individuals at risk for COVID-19, with 45 individuals reporting they had been in contact with a known case of COVID-19.

  • 16% were uncertain about possible contact;

  • 92% (~13,000) consented to be re-contacted for further testing and additional information about COVID-19.

"The data that our participants have provided us, in less than a week, has allowed us to discover risk factors within communities and take action ..." said Joseph Grzymski, PhD, an associate research professor at the Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada, chief science officer for Renown Health, and principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project. "We are thrilled to see the constant, fast-paced evolution of the Healthy Nevada Project and the way our participants have responded so quickly to our requests."

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As of April 3 there are 1,484 COVID-19 cases in the state of Nevada, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. This makes Nevada 25th in the list of states for the most US coronavirus cases.

There have been 38 deaths statewide; most of the patients were in their 50s or older and had underlying medical conditions, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

For more COVID-19 coverage for primary care, visit our COVID-19 Resource Page.

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