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Urban News Staff Reports

WebMD has launched a new Covid-19 Symptom Checker to give consumers who are concerned they may have the virus practical next steps based on their symptoms and personal profile.  
Powered by a proprietary algorithm developed by WebMD’s medical team and driven by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, the new tool offers clear direction based on symptoms, possible exposure, and high-risk medical conditions. 
“The Covid-19 Symptom Checker guides someone to specific action steps they should take based on the likelihood that they have the condition, have been exposed to Covid-19, and their risk of serious illness,” said Michael W. Smith, M.D., MBA, CPT, WebMD’s Chief Medical Director.  “The Covid-19 platform is designed to help address the current uncertainty about what someone should do based on their risk and potentially help alleviate undue stress on the already overburdened health care system.”  
Using the new tool, consumers input symptoms, personal information, including underlying health conditions and age, and any possible exposures to either Covid-19 positive people or situations known to increase risk.  The platform then delivers immediate guidance, such as ways to continue to protect oneself during social distancing, whether someone should self-isolate, steps they should take to prevent the possible spread, and whether they should call their doctor to discuss possible testing.
Regardless of next steps, all users are instructed to practice CDC guidelines for social distancing, handwashing, face masks and other hygiene protocols.  The platform also delivers up-to-date information on staying healthy, boosting immunity and reducing risk. The tool will be continually updated as the clinical situation unfolds and guidelines change.
“As WebMD physicians, we saw that people were dealing with a great deal of confusion and fear about Covid-19,” said Brunilda Nazario, M.D., WebMD Lead Medical Director.  “We designed the Covid-19 Symptom Checker to address that anxiety and bring some clarity.  The Covid-19 Symptom Checker funnels personalized, pertinent information that users need to know with easy-to-understand explanations about next steps.”
“Even in the many cases where people will be reassured that they are not sick, we have an opportunity to drive home healthy habits, the importance of social distancing and other mitigation strategies that are key to ‘flattening the curve’ and keeping people safe,” said Smith.
WebMD says the tool not provide medical advice, and it’s website is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The Covid-19 Symptom Checker is not a diagnostic tool and is intended solely for informational purposes.

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