Here's how many people in Northampton have Covid-19 symptoms right now .. and it's getting fewer, according to app

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Tracker app confirms falling number of suspected coronavirus sufferers in Northampton

An app helping medics learn more about coronavirus is reporting fewer people with Covid-19 symptoms across in and around Northampton.

In the town, the number of sufferers has dropped from just under one in every 100 to around one in every 125.

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One in 200 are showing symptoms in neighbouring Daventry, giving the district one of the lowest rate of infections in the country.

And figures have plummeted in South Northamptonshire where 0.6 per cent are reporting feeling unwell from 2,930 users compared to 1.1 per cent seven days earlier.

Another 500 smartphone users have downloaded the Covid-19 Symptom Tracker in Northampton since a week ago and are using it to anonymously record if they have been tested, if they feel unwell and their symptoms.

Live data is reported from the 3,000,000-plus users nationwide — including close to 3,500 from Northampton — on a dedicated website.

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Latest updates at 5am today (Tuesday May 5) showed 0.8 per cent of 3,470 users in Northampton had symptoms similar to Covid-19.

How the numbers have changed in a week on the Covid-19 tracker appHow the numbers have changed in a week on the Covid-19 tracker app
How the numbers have changed in a week on the Covid-19 tracker app

That means 1,800 people among the Borough's population of 225,000 could be infected, compare to 200 less than a week ago.

The fall in numbers of fresh cases mirrors data from the NHS who have reported 70 new cases in the last week, compared to 108 in the previous seven days.

Project leader, Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London, said: "The more people who use the app, the better the real-time data we have to combat the crisis in this country."

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The app does not guarantee 100 per cent accuracy since some people can contract the virus without feeling unwell and some symptoms being reported might be caused by something other than Covid-19.

But medical teams at King's and Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals in London say the data is invaluable in finding out how the deadly bug spreads.

President of the Royal College of Physicians, Professor Andrew Goddard, said: “One of the most difficult challenges about this coronavirus is the wide range of symptoms people are presenting with and the heart-breaking effect COVID-19 has from person to person – mild in many to life threatening for others in what seems like just moments.

"We urgently need to learn more about Covid-19 and until we have widespread population testing of antibodies, trackers like this app are really useful.”

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The next step is to get more people from vulnerable groups involved. Over-70s and those with pre-existing health conditions appear to be most at risk from the effects of Covid-19. Yet early analysis shows the illness may start with different symptoms in these groups, such as diarrhoea and confusion, rather than the classic cough and fever.

Developers at tech firm ZOE have now updated the app to allow multiple user profiles so that family, friends or carers can log daily health reports for someone else.

Dr Lucy Chambers, Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, said: “We need to urgently address the current gaps in knowledge around how COVID-19 affects people living with pre-existing health conditions.

"This is why it is crucial that everyone does their bit to help scientists gather the information needed to respond effectively to the pandemic and save lives.

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"If you or someone in your family live with diabetes, we encourage you to help advance our understanding of how the virus affects people with diabetes by downloading the Covid Symptom Tracker app and logging how you or those you might care for feel daily.”