Google Search Trend of Dengue fever in developing Countries in 2013-2014: An Internet-Based Analysis

Ashraf A. EL-METWALLY

Abstract


With the emerging trend on internet used in every field of life, web-based tools have been developed for surveillance of novel diseases. Following the development of “Google Flu Trend” as a surveillance tool for Flu epidemics, Google Dengue Trends (GDT) was set up to monitor trends for Dengue fever. In this descriptive epidemiological study, data from GDT was used to depict and compare trend of internet search on Dengue in developing countries like India, Indonesia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Philippine, Singapore, Thailand and Venezuela for a two-year period (2013-2014). Trends of internet search in Bolivia and Indonesia depicted that internet search for dengue activity is low and minimal in these two countries. Argentina and Philippine showed a moderate internet search of dengue activity in the year of 2013 and 2014. Internet search for Dengue Activity for Brazil and India remained high for few months. Internet search of Dengue in the region of Singapore depicted a wide variety of activity with a maximum search reported during the months of May and June. Internet search of Dengue in the region of Thailand and Venezuela also showed wide variation with that in Thailand becoming more intense during June and July, particularly in 2014. As shown in the article, trends of internet search for dengue corresponds with the true epidemic of developing countries. Thus, systems like GDT might provide efficient means for estimating the burden of dengue in different countries. With a fast growing world the burden of diseases is increasing particularly in developing countries where epidemiological surveillance is under developed. Results of this study suggest that Internet-based systems like GDT can provides a rapid and cost-effective complement to current traditional systems.

Keywords


Google Trend; Dengue Fever; Developing Countries.

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