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dc.contributor.authorFulk, Alexander
dc.contributor.authorRomero-Alvarez, Daniel
dc.contributor.authorAbu-Saymeh, Qays
dc.contributor.authorOnge, Jarron M. Saint
dc.contributor.authorPeterson, A. Townsend
dc.contributor.authorAgusto, Folashade B.
dc.date.accessioned2022-07-13T19:07:39Z
dc.date.available2022-07-13T19:07:39Z
dc.date.issued2022-06-07
dc.identifier.citationFulk A, Romero-Alvarez D, Abu-Saymeh Q, Saint Onge JM, Peterson AT, Agusto FB (2022) Using Google Health Trends to investigate COVID-19 incidence in Africa. PLoS ONE 17(6): e0269573. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269573en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/32847
dc.description.abstractThe COVID-19 pandemic has caused over 500 million cases and over six million deaths globally. From these numbers, over 12 million cases and over 250 thousand deaths have occurred on the African continent as of May 2022. Prevention and surveillance remains the cornerstone of interventions to halt the further spread of COVID-19. Google Health Trends (GHT), a free Internet tool, may be valuable to help anticipate outbreaks, identify disease hotspots, or understand the patterns of disease surveillance. We collected COVID-19 case and death incidence for 54 African countries and obtained averages for four, five-month study periods in 2020–2021. Average case and death incidences were calculated during these four time periods to measure disease severity. We used GHT to characterize COVID-19 incidence across Africa, collecting numbers of searches from GHT related to COVID-19 using four terms: ‘coronavirus’, ‘coronavirus symptoms’, ‘COVID19’, and ‘pandemic’. The terms were related to weekly COVID-19 case incidences for the entire study period via multiple linear and weighted linear regression analyses. We also assembled 72 variables assessing Internet accessibility, demographics, economics, health, and others, for each country, to summarize potential mechanisms linking GHT searches and COVID-19 incidence. COVID-19 burden in Africa increased steadily during the study period. Important increases for COVID-19 death incidence were observed for Seychelles and Tunisia. Our study demonstrated a weak correlation between GHT and COVID-19 incidence for most African countries. Several variables seemed useful in explaining the pattern of GHT statistics and their relationship to COVID-19 including: log of average weekly cases, log of cumulative total deaths, and log of fixed total number of broadband subscriptions in a country. Apparently, GHT may best be used for surveillance of diseases that are diagnosed more consistently. Overall, GHT-based surveillance showed little applicability in the studied countries. GHT for an ongoing epidemic might be useful in specific situations, such as when countries have significant levels of infection with low variability. Future studies might assess the algorithm in different epidemic contexts.en_US
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen_US
dc.rights© 2022 Fulk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/en_US
dc.titleUsing Google Health Trends to investigate COVID-19 incidence in Africaen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
kusw.kuauthorFulk, Alexander
kusw.kuauthorRomero-Alvarez, Daniel
kusw.kuauthorAbu-Saymeh, Qays
kusw.kuauthorOnge, Jarron M. Saint
kusw.kuauthorPeterson, A. Townsend
kusw.kuauthorAgusto, Folashade B.
kusw.kudepartmentEcology & Evolutionary Biologyen_US
kusw.kudepartmentBiodiversity Instituteen_US
kusw.kudepartmentSociologyen_US
kusw.oanotesPer Sherpa Romeo 07/13/2022:

PLoS ONE [Open panel below]Publication Information TitlePLoS ONE [English] ISSNsElectronic: 1932-6203 URLhttp://www.plosone.org/ PublishersPublic Library of Science [Commercial Publisher] DOAJ Listinghttps://doaj.org/toc/1932-6203 Requires APCYes [Data provided by DOAJ] [Open panel below]Publisher Policy Open Access pathways permitted by this journal's policy are listed below by article version. Click on a pathway for a more detailed view.

Published Version NoneCC BYPMC Any Website, Journal Website, +1 OA PublishingThis pathway includes Open Access publishing EmbargoNo Embargo LicenceCC BY 4.0 Copyright OwnerAuthors Publisher DepositPubMed Central Location Any Website Named Repository (PubMed Central) Journal Website ConditionsPublished source must be acknowledged with citation
en_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0269573en_US
dc.identifier.orcidhttps://orcid.org/ 0000-0002-6762-6046en_US
kusw.oaversionScholarly/refereed, publisher versionen_US
kusw.oapolicyThis item meets KU Open Access policy criteria.en_US
dc.identifier.pmid35671301en_US
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccessen_US


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© 2022 Fulk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as: © 2022 Fulk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.