CoughWatchSA is a pilot digital participatory surveillance platform launched by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) as of 9 March 2022. This platform is open to all South African residents who are 18 years and older. Participants in this programme are requested to report data on symptoms related to influenza-like illness and COVID-19. In addition to this, demographic data, life style factors, underlying medical conditions and vaccination status for seasonal influenza and COVID-19 are captured. Participants who reside in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town are eligible to enrol in the CoughCheck program, where they can request for a home-based test for influenza, RSV and COVID-19.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.Do I require data or internet to access the survey?
No, CoughWatchSA is zero-rated through reverse-billing which means you will not incur any mobile data expenses when you participate in the study
2.What will happen when I do not receive the confirmation email?
This should not happen, but if it does please check your spam/junk folder and if still not there, please contact support on email@example.com
3.Will the application provide help or assistance when I think I have COVID-19?
No, the survey is not designed to offer medical advice or assistance. If you suspect that you have COVID19, please contact your nearest health care provider
4.Who has access to the data I submit?
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases and identifying information is collected except for your email address
5.Can I use any email address to register?
Yes, you may use any valid email account to register. You will receive email notitifications through this email address.
6.Will the application remind when I need to submit my weekly symptoms questionnaire?
Yes, there will be weekly email reminders to report your weekly symptoms information
7.What is the difference between this survey and the other COVID19 apps from the Department of Health?
CoughWatchSa is an online survey designed for long-term surveillance of respiratory diseases beyond COVID19, whereas the applications that have been developed for COVID19 have a specific purpose like contact tracing, symptom tracking and self-screening, which may not be long-term. CoughWathSA is not a replacement for these COVID19 app from the Department of Health.
8.Can I register and report on behalf of someone like my grandparents or dependents?
No, for this phase of the pilot this is not possible and we do not have ethics clearance to allow for reporting on behalf of others.
9.How does the CoughCheck component of the study work?
If you reside in Johannesburg, Hill Crest, Cape Town, you may be eligible for a home-test if you report symptoms on CoughWatchSA. You will need to consent to the study and provide your contact details to arrange for a driver to deliver the testing kit. This will be tested at the lab and you will receive your results via SMS.
10.Is it free to participate in CoughCheck?
Yes, this will come at no cost to the participant.
This report is based on data collected from 9 March – 24 May 2022.
- From a good start in March with 123 enrolments, the number of new enrolments increased by 48% by the 4th week and thereafter no new enrolments have been recorded to date. The number of active participants has fluctuated over the weeks with an average of 40% of participants active each week.
- Proportion of people reporting fever and cough is increasing each week – reflecting increasing COVID-19 circulation and also that we are entering the winter respiratory virus season
- 36% of people were eligible for home based testing, from which 76% were successfully enrolled. Remember if you have symptoms and live in Johannesburg, Hill Crest/Durban, Cape Town and surrounding areas you can access free home-based testing through linking to the cough check program
- Overall 40% of tested people tested positive for COVID19
- Overall 8% of tested people tested positive for influenza
- Overall 2 of tested people tested positive for RSV
COUGHWATCHSA MONTHLY REPORT (May 2022)