Social Distancing May Be Working, New Study Hints

March 26, 2020 -- Social distancing measures such as closing restaurants, bars and other nonessential businesses is slowing the spread of thre coronavirus in the United States, early evidence suggests.

Data show that the number of people with fever that's an early indication of coronavirus infection started falling almost immediately after social distancing measures took effect in some areas, USA Today reported.

The findings are from health technology company Kinsa, which analyzed fever readings from more than 1 million thermometers in use across the U.S.

"When you shut down schools and businesses, you are breaking the chain of infections," Kinsa CEO Inder Singh told USA Today. "The data are showing it is working and the clusters of fever we were seeing are leveling off and diminishing within days."

Fever fell more than 60% in Santa Clara County, California since it issued a shelter-in-place order on March 17, while fevers have been on the rise in Miami-Dade County.

State and local governments in Northern California took earlier and more aggressive social distancing action than those in South Florida, USA Today reported.

The data is available for public and scientific analysis, and Kinsa plans to submit it to a medical journal.

These are "interesting results that support public health recommendations and should be independently reviewed," Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a former top U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and Maryland health commissioner, told USA Today.

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