Using Google Trends to Estimate the Geographic Distribution of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis in the United States from 2016 to 2021

Steven H. Adams, Timothy P. Endy, David A. Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Soil-transmitted helminth infections are assumed to be uncommon in the US, despite numerous studies in the past few decades showing high burdens in Appalachia and the southern states. We assessed trends of interest in the Google search engine to gauge spatiotemporal patterns of potential soil-transmitted helminth transmission. We conducted a further ecological study comparing Google search trends to risk factors for soil-transmitted helminth transmission. Google search trends for terms related to soil-transmitted helminths were clustered in Appalachia and the south, with seasonal surges suggestive of endemic transmission for hookworm, roundworm (Ascaris), and threadworm. Furthermore, lower access to plumbing, increased septic tank use, and more rural environments were associated with increased soil-transmitted helminth-related Google search terms. Together, these results suggest that soil-transmitted helminthiasis remains endemic in parts of Appalachia and the south.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number212
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Google Trends
  • USA
  • hookworm
  • roundworm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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