Monitoring COVID-19 Related Public Interest and Population Health Literacy in South Asia: An Internet Search-Interest Based Model
Hasan Symum, Habsa Khandaker Hiya , & Kh Mohammed Ali Sagor
Information epidemiology based on internet search data can be used to model COVID-19 pandemic progressions and monitor population health literacy. However, the applicability of internet searches to monitor COVID-19 infections and public health awareness in South Asian countries are unclear. To assess the association of public interest and health literacy in COVID-19 with the number of infected cases South Asian countries. Google Trends data from January to March 2020 were used to correlate public interest and literacy with official data on COVID-19 cases using the relative search volume (RSV) index. Public interest in COVID-19 was retrieved with the search term “Coronavirus (Virus)”. Similarly, search terms “hand wash”, “face mask”, “hand sanitizer”, “face shield” and “gloves” were used to retrieve RSV indices as a surrogate of health literacy. Country-level correlation analyses were performed for a time lag between 30 and +30 days. There were significant positive correlations between COVID-19 related public interest and daily confirmed cases in countries expect Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. The highest public interest in South Asian Countries was on average 12 days before the local maximum of new confirmed cases. Similarly, web searches related to personal hygiene and preventive measures in south Asia correlated to the number of confirmed cases as well as national restriction measures. Public interest indicated by RSV indices can help to monitor the progression of an outbreak such as the current COVID-19 pandemic particularly in countries with a lack of diagnostic and surveillance capacity.
Keywords: COVID-19, Google trends, health literacy, infectious disease, public health surveillance.
|Title:||Monitoring COVID-19 Related Public Interest and Population Health Literacy in South Asia: An Internet Search-Interest Based Model|
|Author:||Hasan Symum, Habsa Khandaker Hiya , & Kh Mohammed Ali Sagor|
|Journal Name:||International Journal of Science and Business|
|ISSN:||ISSN 2520-4750 (Online), ISSN 2521-3040 (Print)|
|Date of Publication:||10/04/2021|
|Paper Type:||Research Paper|
Cite This Article:
Hasan Symum, Habsa Khandaker Hiya , & Kh Mohammed Ali Sagor (2021). Monitoring COVID-19 Related Public Interest and Population Health Literacy In South Asia: An Internet Search-Interest Based Model. International Journal of Science and Business, 5(5), 128-138. doi: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4678285
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About Author (s)
Hasan Symum (corresponding author), Department of Industrial and Management System Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Habsa Khandaker Hiya, Muma College of Business, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.
Kh Mohammed Ali Sagor, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh.