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New tool predicts person’s risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19

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UK researchers have developed a new risk prediction tool that estimates a person’s chance of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

The algorithm, which was constructed using data from more than eight million people across England, uses key factors such as age, ethnicity and body mass index to help identify individuals in the UK at risk of developing severe illness.

It’s hoped that the risk prediction tool, known as QCOVID, will be used to support public health policy throughout the rest of the pandemic, in shaping decisions over shielding, treatment or vaccine prioritisation.

The research, published in The BMJ, was put together by a team of scientists across the UK, and has been praised for the depth and accuracy of its findings.

“This study presents robust risk prediction models that could be used to stratify risk in populations for public health purposes in the event of a ‘second wave’ of the pandemic and support shared management of risk,” the researchers say.

“We anticipate that the algorithms will be updated regularly as understanding of COVID-19 increases, as more data become available, as behaviour in the population changes, or in response to new policy interventions.”

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Source: The Independent, 21 October 2020

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