Social distancing measures, a key aspect in the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, helps save lives as it reduces fever, according to an Indian-American CEO and founder of a health tech startup that monitors temperatures of people in the US through its inter-connected digital thermometer.
More than 250 million Americans are said to be staying indoors in view of the fast spreading coronavirus, which so far has infected more than 160,000 Americans and taken the lives of over 3,000 people.
Inder Singh, CEO and founder of Kinsa Health, in multiple interviews to various news outlets, has said that the real time data of the US have revealed that social distancing has helped reduce fever. Consistent high temperature is one of the key aspect of a patient infected by COVID-19.
"When you shut down schools and businesses, you are breaking the chain of infections," Singh told USA Today in an interview. "The data are showing it is working and the clusters of fever we were seeing are levelling off and diminishing within days," he said.
Kansa health is based out of California. According to the report, flu-related illness in California's Santa Clara County, for example, have dropped by more than 60 per cent since a March 17 shelter-in-place order.
At the same time, Florida's Miami-Dade County's level of flu-like illness has been going up. The State and local governments in Northern California took earlier and more aggressive action than in South Florida, he asserted. Kinsa's report is based on the fever readings that it downloads from more than one million digital thermometers in use around the US.
The New York Times on Monday said that data from the health departments of New York State and Washington State have buttressed the finding of Kinsa Health, making it clear that social distancing is saving lives.
In an interview to The Bulletin, Singh said the company had turned the digital system into a communications system. "I can't tell you for sure right away if it's COVID-19, but it immediately tells us, 'Look here! Something important is going on!'" he said.
Subsequently, the system can help triage users to the care they require, while also capturing signs of spreading illness so that authorities can step in when needed, the media outlet reported. "We're taking our real-time illness signal, and we're subtracting out the expectation," Singh told TechCrunch in another interview.
"So what you're left with is atypical illness. In other words, a cluster of fevers that you would not expect from normal cold and flu time. So, presumably, that is COVID-19; I cannot definitively say it's COVID-19, but what I can say is that it's an unusual outbreak.
"It could be an anomalous flu, a strain that's totally unexpected. It could be something else, but at least a portion of that is almost certainly going to be COVID-19," he was quoted as saying.
A total of 782,365 COVID-19 cases have been reported across more than 175 countries and territories with 37,582 deaths reported so far. America has the highest number of cases with a total of 161,807 reported infections, according to Johns Hopkins University data.