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Belgian university launches online test for coronavirus

The risk of infection is assessed based on several simple questions. Credit: Belga

The Vrij Universiteit Brussels (VUB) has launched an online test that can estimate the risk of infection by the coronavirus, after the first patient has turned up in Belgium.

The Department of Family Medicine and Chronic Care at the VUB developed an online questionnaire that aims to assess the risk of coronavirus infection.

Despite the reassurances of Maggie De Block, the Minister for Public Health, saying that the situation is under control, the Department noticed that people are worried, now that the first official infected person has turned up in Belgium.

Additionally, the symptoms of the coronavirus are difficult to distinguish from the ordinary seasonal flu, and the test brings some clarify.

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On the website, the risk of infection is assessed based on several simple questions, like “Do you have a fever?”, “Are you coughing up mucus?” and “Have you been in China during the 14 days that preceded your complaints?”

“We expect that in the first case of a coronavirus in Belgium, care providers will be asked a lot of questions. The online test will allow people to make the right decision and thus reduce the burden on healthcare providers,” said Professor Dirk Devroey in a press release.

The questionnaire and algorithm were created based on guidelines by the government and World Health Organisation (WHO), and is continuously updated using the most recent information.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times