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Data scientist reveals EYE PAIN may be a symptom of Covid-19

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Data scientist reveals EYE PAIN may be a symptom of Covid-19 after tracking Google searches in some of the worst-hit American states

  • Searches for the phrase ‘loss of smell’ highest in NY, NJ, Louisiana and Michigan
  • Data scientist argues Google searches can determine next outbreak of Covid-19
  • He also says there is evidence to suggest eye pain could be a symptom of virus 

By Sophie Tanno For bioreports.com

Published: | Updated:

A data scientist has claimed that Google search results from around the world could be key to determining undiscovered coronavirus symptoms as well as locating emerging outbreaks. 

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explained how Google searches for the phrase ‘loss of smell’ align with the number of positive cases of coronavirus, and why he believes eye pain could be another unofficial signal of the illness.

Most researchers now agree that loss of smell and taste is a symptom of Covid-19, affecting up to 60% of those who contract the illness.  

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (pictured) explained how Google searches for the phrase ‘loss of smell’ align with the number of positive cases of coronavirus, and why he believes eye pain could be another unofficial signal of the illness

Searches for the phrase ‘loss of smell’ in the US  were highest in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Michigan, which are four cities worst hit by the outbreak. 

Mr Stephens-Davidowitz went on to predict that Ecuador could become a new epicentre for the virus based on people’s Google searches. 

Writing in the bioreports, Mr Stephens-Davidowitz said: ‘Searches for “no puedo oler” (“I can’t smell”) are some 10 times higher per Google search in Ecuador than they are in Spain, even though Ecuador officially reports more than ten times fewer Covid-19 cases per capita than Spain does. 

Mr Stephens-Davidowitz argued that based on Google’s search history, there is evidence to suggest eye pain could also be considered a symptom of the virus. He explained how the amount of times ‘eye pain’ was searched for in Spain and Iran correlated with the rapid spread of the virus (Stock image) 

‘Ecuadoreans are also right near the top in searches for fever, chills and diarrhea.’  

Mr Stephens-Davidowitz argued that based on Google’s search history, there is evidence to suggest eye pain could also be considered a symptom of the virus. 

He explained how the amount of times ‘eye pain’ was searched for in Spain and Iran correlated with the rapid spread of the virus. 

Mr Stephens-Davidowitz argued that based on Google’s search history, there is evidence to suggest eye pain could also be considered a symptom of the virus (Stock image) 

‘Notably, searches for eye pain rose above fourfold in Spain between the middle of February and the middle of March and rose about 50 percent in Iran in March.

‘In Italy, searches for ‘bruciore occhi’ (“burning eyes”) were five times their usual levels in March.’

He continued: ‘I think search data offers suggestive evidence that eye pain can be a symptom of the disease. 

However, it might only affect a small fraction of Covid-19 patients. 

Overall search volume for eye pain, despite rising substantially in Covid-19 hot spots, remains well below search volume for other symptoms. 

‘In New York there are now about one-sixth as many searches related to eye pain as there are searches related to loss of smell.

‘Nonetheless, doctors and public health officials should probably look closely at the relationship between Covid-19 and eye pain.’

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