Health authorities can use Google’s search query data to identify new COVID-19 foci. This was stated by economist and Big Data specialist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in his column on The New York Times.
In addition, query statistics can be used to identify symptoms that initially went unnoticed – such as eye pain.
Why is this data important?
Stevens-Davidovich found out that last week increased
the number of search sessions on demand (I don’t smell) in such states,
like Louisiana and New York who are among the most affected by
Today it is known that the loss of smell and taste –
this is one of the main symptoms of COVID-19.
The largest number of queries on this topic in recent
time is fixed in Ecuador.
Stevens-Davidovich downloaded Google search query data on
at the country level over the past week for dozens of COVID-19 symptoms listed on medicinenet.com, and found that the three most common
user complaints are loss of smell, fever and chills. Fourth by
The frequency of the search query was eye pain.
In February, the number of requests related to eye pain was high in Spain and other countries severely affected by coronavirus. It is also noted that at that time there were reports that spoke about complaints of patients with COVID-19 about eye problems.
Having received this data, the expert concluded that eye pain
may be another symptom of COVID-19.
However, he acknowledged that these assumptions require additional verification.