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UEA helps provide vital public information in fight against COVID-19

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has played a key role in contributing scientific research for the newly formed ‘Coronavirus: The Science Explained’ website, launched by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).

The website is set to provide the most authoritative scientific information available on the constantly evolving Coronavirus outbreak. It allows public access to up-to-date scientific information on the evidence and facts about the virus and its control. The website hosts a number of short articles, written by leading scientists – many of whom are currently advising government as part of the SAGE committee on its approach to tackling the pandemic.

Dr Iain Lake, of UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, has contributed to the section on understanding outbreaks, focusing on the different sources of information used to track the course of COVID-19.

Dr Lake said: “While there is much focus on death data and the results from testing, here we focus on how other sources of information such as calls to medical telephone helplines with symptoms such as breathing difficulties may be used to track the course of COVID-19. These have the potential to provide early warning of any resurgence in the virus.

“It is important to understand the different sources of information that are being used to track the pandemic, and this site tries to summarize this is an accessible manner.”

The website is intended to be a reliable data source for interested parties across the UK - from the general public seeking more information on the virus, to researchers in related fields who think their own research may be able to make a useful contribution to the response.

UKRI Chief Executive, Sir Mark Walport said, “Throughout this crisis it’s vital that people have access to up-to-date scientific information and evidence. The Coronavirus: The Science Explained website is uniquely positioned to provide the latest science behind coronavirus in accessible language, offering a trusted and impartial resource to anyone who needs it. We are enormously grateful to the experts from the University of East Anglia who have contributed to this endeavour.”

To view the latest and most trustworthy scientific information on Coronavirus, visit https://coronavirusexplained.ukri.org/en/.

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