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.
- Google Trends
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases