This study states that The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, Hubei province, China in December 2019 and rapidly spread across the world.1, 2 During emergency situations, rapid measurements of changes in health-seeking behavior are critical to understand healthcare utilization. Moreover, estimating the disease burden and clinical severity of COVID-19 is key to identify appropriate intervention strategies and allocate healthcare resources. However, quantifying these metrics while a pandemic is unfolding is challenging due to limitations in passive surveillance. Here, we assess the health-seeking behavior of residents with acute respiratory infections (ARI) during the outbreak of COVID-19 between December 2019 and March 2020 in Wuhan, China.

Between March 10 and 24, 2020, two population-based surveys were conducted in Wuhan to understand the health-seeking behaviors of patients suffering from ARI (presence of fever and/or any respiratory symptoms, eg, cough and sore throat) during the COVID-19 outbreak. The surveys included the following: (a) a telephone-and-online survey of 2,595 adults (individuals aged ≥18 years); (b) an online survey of 816 children (individuals aged <18 years). The study participants were current residents who had lived in Wuhan for at least three months before the date of the survey.

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