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Google Surveys Users For Coronavirus Symptoms To Help Researchers Forecast Spread

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Google Surveys Users For Coronavirus Symptoms To Help Researchers Forecast Spread

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Google LLC is surveying users for possible novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

What Happened

The survey is being conducted through the search engine giant's Opinion Reward App in the United States.

"Your responses will not be used for any purpose other than for aggregate research, and will not be retained or associated with any identifying information about you," Google says in the survey's description.

It asks questions like if anyone in the respondent's household is experiencing symptoms like fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit along with a sore throat or cough. The survey doesn't mention if the survey is related to COVID-19.

A company spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the survey is being conducted at the request of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

"At the request of [CMU] researchers working to help forecast the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., we recently began running a Google Survey questionnaire asking people if they have flu-like symptoms," spokesman Matt Bryant told Reuters.

"People have to opt in to take the survey and the information the researchers will receive is aggregated and completely anonymized."

Why It Matters

The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has seen a sharp rise, with 46,332 confirmed infections at press time, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At least 610 people have reportedly died from the virus.

Google launched a COVID-19 information website last Saturday. Its sister company Verily earlier launched a triage program to help users decide if they need to be tested for the coronavirus and locate a nearby testing facility.

Price Action

Alphabet Class A shares closed 1.32% lower at $1,054.13 and traded 1.7% higher at $1,072 in the after-hours session. Class C shares closed 1.55% lower at $1,056.62 and traded 1.55% higher at $1,073 in the after-hours session.

 

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